Voices ever ancient, ever new. Lent: Thursday after Ash Wednesday

“Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

Saint Basil the Great offers the following insight on this verse from today's Gospel:

“It is necessary, therefore, to receive instruction before baptism, having first removed any impediment to learning and so making ourselves fit to receive the instruction. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself confirms this assertion by his example and also by the formal injunction: “So every one of you that does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my disciple;” and by the definitive declaration: “He that takes not up his cross daily and follows me is not worthy of me.” And then we are ready for the baptism of water, which is a type of the cross and of death, burial and resurrection from the dead.

Whoever, therefore, is worthy to be baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit and who has been born anew undergoes a change of abode, habits and associates, so that, walking by the Spirit we may merit to be baptized in the name of the Son and to put on Christ.” (Concerning Baptism)

Prompt our actions with your inspiration,
we pray, O Lord,
and further them with your constant help,
that all we do may always begin from you
and by you be brought to completion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.