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III. Week of Lent | ICCS EM
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III. Week of Lent

21. February 2016

 

Monday 22nd February

Evangelium: Mt 16,13-19

Thought of the day: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Mt 16,13.

Task for the Day: What means God in your life?

Tuesday 23th February

Evangelium: Mt 23,1-12

Thought of the Day: The greatest among you must be your servant. Mt 23, 11

Task for the Day: Do some service today: help someone who needs it, visit your parents/grandparents/friends you didn´t visit for long time…

Wednesday 24th February

Evangelium: Mt 20, 17-28

Thought of the Day: Heed me, O LORD, and listen to what my adversaries say. Jer 18, 19

Task for the Day:   Do not miss the holy mass today to pray.

Thursday 25th February

Evangelium: Lk 16, 19-31

Thought of the Day: Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. Jer 17, 7-8

Task for the Day: Try to smile and think positive even when you are not happy.

Friday 26th February

 

Evangelium:  Mt 21,33-43.45-46

 

Meditating the Story of the Passion in St. Mark’s Gospel

 

The King is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mk. 14:32-52; see Mt. 26:36-56; Lk. 22:40-53).

Text:

32 They came to a plot of land called
 Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, 'Stay here while I pray.'

33 Then he took Peter and James and John with him.

34 And he began to feel terror and
 anguish. And he said to them, 'My soul is
 sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here, and stay awake.'

35 And going on a little further he
 threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, this hour
 might pass him by.

36 'Abba, Father!' he said, 'For you
 everything is possible. Take this cup away from me. But let it be as you, not
 I, would have it.'

37 He came back and found them
 sleeping, and he said to Peter, 'Simon, are you asleep? Had you not the strength to
 stay awake one hour?

38 Stay awake and pray not to be put
 to the test. The spirit is
 willing enough, but human nature is
 weak.'

39 Again he went away and prayed,
 saying the same words.

40 And once more he came back and
 found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy; and they could find no answer
 for him.

41 He came back a third time and said
 to them, 'You can sleep on now and have your rest. It is all over. The hour
 has come. Now the Son of man is to be
 betrayed into the hands of sinners.

42 Get up! Let us go! My betrayer is
 not far away.'

43 And at once, while he was still
 speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came up and with him a number of men
 armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and the scribes and
 the elders.

44 Now the traitor had arranged a
 signal with them saying, 'The one I kiss, he is the man. Arrest him, and see
 he is well guarded when you lead him away.'

45 So when the traitor came, he went
 up to Jesus at once
 and said, 'Rabbi!' and kissed him.

46 The others seized him and arrested
 him.

47 Then one of the bystanders drew his
 sword and struck out at the high priest's servant and cut off his ear.

48 Then Jesus spoke. 'Am I a bandit,' he said, 'that you had
 to set out to capture me with swords and clubs?

49 I was among you teaching in the Temple day
 after day and you never laid a hand on me. But this is to fulfil the
 scriptures.'

50 And they all deserted him and ran
 away.

51 A young man followed
 with nothing on but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him,

52 but he left the cloth in their
 hands and ran away naked.

Commentary:

Many pilgrims camped
 close to Jerusalem at Passover time, and it may be that Jesus intended to
 spend the night in Gethsemane (which means ‘oil press’) instead of returning
 to Bethany. But there was to be no sleep for him there. With his ‘inner ring’
 of three disciples, he prayed, under tremendous spiritual stress. We must
 never think that Calvary was easy for him; this prayer shows how hard it was
 (see Lk. 12:50). The sleepy disciples, perhaps especially Peter, must have
 heard and remembered his words (36) and told Mark, for nobody else was
 present. They even remembered that Jesus used the intimate Aramaic word
 ‘Abba’ (which Mark translates) to address God his father (this was later used
 by the early church; Rom. 8:15). ‘Abba’ is the name which every Jewish child
 still uses within the home to address his or her father.

        Jesus’
 prayer was very simple; he did not want to face the cross, but if it was
 God’s path, he would face it. In this way he conquered the enemy. But while
 he prayed, his disciples slept, in spite of his warnings. No wonder that they
 yielded to temptation later, when they had already yielded to temptation
 here. No fall is really unexpected or sudden, as Peter found.

Without the help of
 Judas, the priests would never have been able to find Jesus among the many
 groups camped around Jerusalem that night. Those who have seen the crowds of
 pilgrims camped around temples at a Hindu festival will understand. Even if
 they had found the place, they would never have been able to find Jesus
 himself in the darkness, and Judas knew well that his fellow–Galileans might
 fight. That is why the well–armed temple police were there (not a city mob,
 as is sometimes suggested). Night arrests of suspects are not unusual; the
 suspects are off guard, and there is less danger of a rescue by friends or
 neighbours. As it was, Peter (not named here; see Jn. 18:10) drew his sword
 in vain, for Jesus refused such help.

        We
 may be used to police spies and paid informers, but the treachery of Judas
 still staggers us. The kiss on the cheek was the salute demanded by local
 culture, and the greeting was that of a disciple to his master, but both were
 only signs arranged in advance. What amazed all was the calm response of
 Jesus. There was, he said, no need for all this drama. They could have
 arrested him any day in the temple, if they had not been afraid of the
 people’s reaction. Then the secret of his quiet acceptance came out: he knew
 that all of this had its place in the plan and purpose of God (49).

        There
 has been much discussion as to who the young man in this story was. Some have
 suggested that it was John Mark himself, in whose home the Last Supper may
 have taken place (the church later met in his mother’s house; Acts 12:12). If
 the priests could have arrested Jesus’ followers as well as Jesus, no doubt
 they would have, but they all ran away (50).

Probably, that was why
 Peter feared being recognized in the high priest’s house later. It may, on
 the other hand, be only an irrelevant memory of Mark’s eyewitness, which Mark
 alone preserves faithfully. Whoever it was, he too had left Jesus, like all
 the rest, and run away.

Part two: The
 coronation of the King (Mk. 14:53-15:47)

The early church liked to think of Jesus as
 ‘Christ the King’. They spoke of his royal robe of purple, his crown of
 thorns, his sceptre of cane, the acclamation by the soldiers, the placard on
 the cross and the words of Pilate. All this must have been in Mark’s mind
 too, from the way that he arranges his material. Was he thinking of the
 crowning of a Caesar in imperial Rome as he described a king who was greater
 still?

 

Thought of the Day: Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes'? Mt 21,42

Task for the Day: Write a diary about positive things in your life.

Saturday 27th February

Evangelium: Lk 15,1-3.11-32

Thought of the Day:  He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'" Lk 15, 31-32

Task for the Day: Try to think about important things you have „lost and founf“ in your life, Forgive to somebody something what he/she owes you.

Sunday 28th February

Evangelium: Lk 13, 1-9

Thought of the Day:  'For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. (So) cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?'

He said to him in reply, 'Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'" Lk 13, 7-9

Task for the Day: Read at least a part of the ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS.