Day 48 – February 17

Today’s Readings:

Leviticus 17-18
Matthew 28
Psalm 48

Jesus said to them, “Fear not! Go tell my brothers to go away into Galilee, and there they will see me.”   – Matthew 28:10

Those that were with Jesus at the Cross are the first to be witnesses of His resurrection. As they approach the tomb, and seeing the angel, they must have sensed they were before a great mystery. Perhaps such a sign (angel) was needed because who could have believed the truth of the Resurrection? It would seem too good to be possible!

As the truth began to sink in, they are in a sense commissioned to be the first evangelizers. To do so they had to come to grips with what they believed.

Their belief, however, was not enough. More was required of them, as they were asked share with others, to “Go tell” others the good news, with joy in their hearts!

Let us too, who have come to believe, imitate the first followers, that we too will believe – share – and rejoice.

May God bless you!

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Day 47 – February 16

Today’s Readings:

Leviticus 15-16
Matthew 27:51-66
Psalm 47

“Truly, this man was the Son of God.”   – Matthew 37:54

As the Centurion stood at the foot of the Cross, he came to belief in Jesus. We are reminded of Jesus’ words found in John 12:32: He foretold of this day when he said,

“…when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”

Jesus was lifted up from the earth and hung on the Cross. The Centurion was at the Cross not because of believe but because of his military assignment. And God drew him into the mystery, giving him faith in Jesus through the  powerful sign of the Cross.

When you look at the Cross, are you drawn in to the Mystery? We too have the opportunity, like the Centurion, to come to the Cross and be drawn to Jesus. Let us make time to enter into the mystery and be bathed in His loving embrace – the Greatest Love man can know.

May God bless you!

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Day 46 – February 15

Today’s Readings:

Leviticus 13-14
Matthew 27:27-50
Psalm 46

“And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”…Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.”   – Matthew 27:46,50

All three of the synoptic gospels record these last words of Jesus. In the Gospel of John, the last words recorded are “It is finished”. Three small words in the English language; but in Greek it is one word – Tetelestai. It is a word used for one who has struggled through a very difficult task, passing from the darkness of that struggle to the light of victory. It is a shout of triumph!

This is a great lesson for us who follow Jesus. The saints such as St John of the Cross knew well this valley of darkness, of walking without any consolation, waiting patiently for the light to dawn. And, when the dawn finally sheds light on their struggle and they were found faithful to the end – Victory! Tetelestai!

Earlier in this very Gospel (Matthew 24:10-13) we read of the call to persevere with Christ:

“And then many will be led into sin; they will betray and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.

Let us remain faithful then, to the end, that with Jesus we too will shout, Tetelestai! Victory!

May God bless you!

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Day 45 – February 14

Today’s Readings:

Leviticus 11-12
Matthew 27:1-26
Psalm 45

“Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?” But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.”   – Matthew 27:13-14

Pilate was not known to be a pushover. He governed over the Israelites with a lack of cultural sensitivity and a healthy dose of arrogance. When Jesus was brought before him, he saw the annoyance of the Jewish leadership only looking to eliminate an inconvenience. In movies and commentaries, Pilate is often portrayed as one stuck between a rock and a hard place, wanting to avoid spilling this man’s blood.

Strange no? A man who had a whole village – Tirabatha -slaughtered later on, had misgivings about putting a carpenter to death? That is, unless Pilate had an encounter.

Is it possible that during Pilate’s inquiry with Jesus, he had a glimpse of who was really standing before him?

He hesitated. Perhaps he trembled slightly. and he too pondered, “is this more than an ordinary man before me?” Was Pilate touched somehow by Jesus’ power?

Let us take time today to ponder the power of Jesus dwelling in us, and be in awe of His Majesty cloaked in humility.

May God bless you!

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Day 44 – February 13

Today’s Readings:

Leviticus 8-10
Matthew 26:51-75
Psalm 44

“Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.”   – Matthew 26:73-75

What great shame Peter must have felt after the thrice-denial of Jesus. How, when he ran off into the night to weep, he could have said to himself, “No one needs to know about this incident; it will scandalize others.” And that would have been it. It could have died with Peter, but his weakest moment lives on with us because he himself gave testimony to the Christian community about it.

It sets an important and encouraging lesson for all of us.

We all deny Jesus in one way or another through our sin. What Peter teaches us, that if he in his denial could find peace and forgiveness through Jesus, God must be a good, loving and forgiving God. Let us turn to the Lord then, confess our wrong doing, and find ourselves embraced anew by God’s love.

In other words, Peter’s testimony of his greatest shame (his denial) became God’s greatest glory (Mercy).

May God bless you!

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