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dc.contributor.authorHamm, Dennis, S.J.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-06-09T18:21:29Z
dc.date.available2014-06-09T18:21:29Z
dc.date.issued2010-02-18en_US
dc.identifier.otherLectionary number: 220en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10504/51680
dc.description.abstract"Choose life!" says Moses to the Israelites in the desert. And that statement is not short for, "Eat right and get your exercise." As the context makes clear, he means, "Choose to live the life of the covenant bond with the God who got us out of slavery in Egypt! Live the life spelled out in the covenant law of Sinai!" Not to do that is to worship and serve something other than God, to seek life where life is not. Seeking a God substitute leads only to empty death.|Psalm 1 says the same thing with a set of vivid images. Living the law of the Lord is like being a tree planted next to living water. Planted like that, you grow into something that bears fruit. Failure to live the way of the Lord is to be like chaff blowing in the wind. No hope of fruitfulness there!|The teaching of Jesus in the Gospel reading is similar, but more complicated and paradoxical. Like Moses and the psalmist, Jesus calls us to choose fullness of life, but with what challenging imagery! If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:24).|Let's slow down and listen to this image carefully. Reference to the cross, of course, evokes the Roman death penalty for non-citizens, the kind of execution that Jesus himself would eventually suffer. The word "daily" makes it clear that he is not talking about a once-in-a-lifetime martyrdom. It is a daily opportunity. And notice that Jesus is not saying that his followers must get crucified daily. The metaphor is specifically about carrying the cross. So the reference is to a specific part in the process of Roman execution, the part where the criminal is led through the streets carrying the crosspiece on his shoulders, thus marking him as an enemy of Roman law and order, so that the crowds could insult and spit upon him as he passed by. The point was to shame the criminal and make an example of him, deterring others from committing the same crime.|So the immediate point of Jesus' image was this: Follow me, and you can expect to be targeted for some rejection and shaming. Identify with me, and some will reject you as they rejected me. Stand for life in the way I'm teaching you to understand life, and those elements of society who support deathly things (like ignoring the needs of the poor, or acting as if might makes right), and some people are sure to reject you. That's the bad news. But, if you remain faithful to my way nonviolence and of love of enemies, you will gain the fullness of life-now and hereafter. It is in that sense that whoever loses his life for my sake will save it (Luke 9:24b).|Just three chapters before this scene, Jesus put the same thing in the form of a Beatitude: Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you and denounce your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way (Luke 6:22-23).en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.relation.urihttps://dspace.creighton.edu/xmlui/handle/10504/64997
dc.rightsThese reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.en_US
dc.subject.otherThursday after Ash Wednesdayen_US
dc.titleReflection for February 18, 2010: Thursday after Ash Wednesday.en_US
dc.typeEssay
dc.rights.holderUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.publisher.locationOmaha, Nebraska, United Statesen_US
dc.date.day18en_US
dc.date.year2010en_US
dc.date.monthFebruaryen_US
dc.program.unitCollege of Arts and Sciencesen_US
dc.program.unitTheologyen_US
dc.url.link1http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/daily.htmlen_US
dc.contributor.cuauthorHamm, M. Dennis, S.J.en_US
dc.date.daynameThursdayen_US
dc.date.seasonLenten_US
dc.date.weekWeek of Ash Wednesdayen_US
dc.relation.nexthttps://dspace.creighton.edu/xmlui/handle/10504/51709
dc.relation.previoushttps://dspace.creighton.edu/xmlui/handle/10504/51663
dc.subject.local1Deuteronomy 30:15-20en_US
dc.subject.local2Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6en_US
dc.subject.local4Luke 9:22-25en_US
dc.title.seriesDaily Reflections (Meditations) on the Scriptures from the Roman Catholic Lectionary.en_US
dc.date.cycleYear IIen_US


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    Reflections written by Creighton University faculty, staff, and administrators on the daily mass readings.

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