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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Gospel text (Lk 9,22-25): Jesus said, «The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the elders and chief priests and teachers of the Law, and put to death. Then after three days he will be raised to life». Jesus also said to all the people, «If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me. For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it, and if you choose to lose your life for my sake, you will save it (…)».

First announcement of the Passion. The path of the cross

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today x starting with Lent, Jesus Christ announces us the final destiny of the journey we are to undertake with Him: His Passion and His Resurrection. This announcement scandalized Simon Peter, who had just recognized him as the Messiah. But, precisely, following Him in the sign of the cross should be our path, which can be explained in an anthropological way: it is the journey of "losing oneself", which is necessary for man and without which he cannot find himself.

To love one must lose oneself! Christians must continuously be instructed, over the centuries, by the Lord, to make them aware that their path is not that of glory and worldly powers, but "the path of the cross". Today too, Christians take the Lord aside to tell him: "No, Lord, this cannot happen to you"!

—Jesus has to tell us again and again: "get out of my sight, you Satan!" This scene shows a piece of disturbing actuality, inasmuch, in the final analysis, we keep on thinking in terms of "flesh and blood" and not according to the revelation that we receive through faith.