LENT, DAY 16, MARCH 20, THURS.

REFLECTION:  SIMON HELPS JESUS CARRY HIS CROSS.  17% of Guatemalan children work instead of going to school.  This is a heavy cross for a young person to carry.  Do you know anyone who is carrying a heavy cross?  GIVE 25cents in your Rice Bowl for people carrying a burden.

PRAYERS:  Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.  Proverbs 29:26

Governing a community is certainly no easy task, dear Lord.  Unlike you, O King of kings, the rulers of my government all too often lack wisdom and judgment.  I need more patience and understanding as I carry the crosses of my community.  In your wisdom, you have purposefully placed me here in this place.  Lord, keep me from angrily deriding my elected officials.  Rather, form in me the habit of praying for my rulers and offering up the gifts you have given me for the benefit of the whole community.  AMEN

DEFINING OURSELVES BY ‘GOODS’ AND ‘BADS’:  The heart is devious above all else…who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

When our identity comes more from what we do than who we are, then we have allowed ourselves, intellectually, emotionally and sometimes even spiritually, to be defined by the many “goods” or the “bads” that our world sets before us.  Praise, success and the attention of many friends make us feel happy, self-confident and comfortable.  Criticism, setbacks and lack of attention make us feel sad, self-doubting and lonely.  When our work plans work out, we are all smiles; when they fail, we look downcast…I vividly remember giving a lecture for a large audience.  Everyone liked it except one man who told me that I had said a lot of non-sense.  When I went home, I felt depressed! A hundred successes are nullified by a single setback.  One word of criticism cancels out a hundred of commendation.

HEAL MY TORN SOUL, LOVING GOD, SO THAT I MAY LIVE IN YOUR LOVE. (Henri J.M.Nouwen, “God’s Abiding Love”)

Have a meaningful Lent

 

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