Lord Jesus, We journey with you this Lenten season, through prayer, fasting and almsgiving, ever closer to Jerusalem, ever closer to your death on the cross. We hear your words: “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me,” but we are unsure of their meaning, or anxious about their true intent. Through the power of your Spirit, give us the strength to deny the “self” that keeps us from being good stewards of those who need our love and compassion. Give us a deeper awareness of the cross in our own lives so that we may embrace it and join our sufferings with yours and a world in need of your redemption. And give us the confidence to follow you no matter the
cost; knowing that if we die with you, we will also live with you and eternally rejoice in your resurrection. We humbly ask this of you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.