“What does it profit anyone to gain the whole world and lose or forfeit his very life?” (Lk 9:25)
Today’s Passages: Lk 9:22-25; Dt 30:15-20
Meditation: Today’s meditation verses lead us to God’s infinite mercy and love toward human beings. He created them and adorned each one of them with the freedom of will and choice. This manifests clearly that his creation was out of his pure infinite love for mankind. If it were otherwise, he would have made them like slaves; in order to satisfy his selfish needs. But psalmist solemnly declares, “You have made him little lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet.” (Ps 8:5, 6)
However, man could not understand this steadfast and true love of God fully and turned away from him by listening to the fake news of Satan. Real truth is always plain and unattractive, whereas the false truth is both covered and attractive. God is always plain in his revelations and therefore, he says, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and descendants may live.” (Dt 30:19) That means God has already given you vivid and ample direction as to what is good and what is wrong. But, see closely the next step of Satan.
Because, it is precisely here that the Satan makes an entry into our virtuous life. He makes us first believe that we do not have such capacity at present but can achieve by following his words. In the book of Genesis we read, “The serpent said to the woman, ‘you will not die, for God knows that the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing what is good and what is bad.” (Gen 3:4, 5) Here what happens is this; by obeying God’s command Eve continues to enjoy the promises of God as to the knowledge of right and bad, whereas by following the fake promise of Satan she will lose God’s real promise.
In the temptation narrative of Jesus too, we find similar fake promise of Satan making to Jesus: “All this I will give you, if you kneel and worship me.” (Mt 4:9) Actually, the Satan is putting this suggestion before God the creator of everything. Sometimes, having the divine powers received through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we too are tempted to go after such fake promises. During this Lenten season, we must be able to say to these fake promises with the power of Jesus’ name: “Be off, Satan! Scripture says: Worship the Lord your God and serve him alone.” (Mt 4:10)
Today’s meditation verse also plainly speaks about the real meaning of life and its nature. However, Satan, who was already thrown out the paradise and lost eternal life, tries to make people believe that the life in this world is more real and meaningful. God has clearly revealed to us about the life here on earth and the life everlasting. But Satan magnifies the life here on earth and its pleasures and keeps silence about the eternal. Today, Jesus, the Son of God, the source of all living, in the second reading reveals the truth asking us, “What does it profit anyone to gain the whole world and lose or forfeit his very life?” (Lk 9:25) How do we respond to this question in this holy season of Lent?
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Give us your Spirit in its abundance so that we may discern rightly what is good and what is bad; what is earthly and what is eternal. We ask for this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Greetings: God is with you! Wish you a blessed and fruitful Lenten Thursday!