O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Scripture Readings

Isaiah 49:1–7

The Servant’s Mission

Listen to me, O coastlands,
 pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
 while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
 in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
 in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, ‘You are my servant,
 Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’
But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain,
 I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
 and my reward with my God.’

And now the Lord says,
 who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
 and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honoured in the sight of the Lord,
 and my God has become my strength—
he says,
‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
 to raise up the tribes of Jacob
 and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
 that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’

Thus says the Lord,
 the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
 the slave of rulers,
‘Kings shall see and stand up,
 princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
 the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.’

Psalm 71:1–14

Prayer for Lifelong Protection and Help

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
 let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
 incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge,
 a strong fortress, to save me,
 for you are my rock and my fortress.

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
 from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
 my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
 it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.

I have been like a portent to many,
 but you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
 and with your glory all day long.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
 do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
For my enemies speak concerning me,
 and those who watch for my life consult together.
They say, ‘Pursue and seize that person
 whom God has forsaken,
 for there is no one to deliver.’

O God, do not be far from me;
 O my God, make haste to help me!
Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
 let those who seek to hurt me
 be covered with scorn and disgrace.
But I will hope continually,
 and will praise you yet more and more.

I Corinthians 1:18–31

Christ the Power and Wisdom of God

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
 and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling–block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’

St. John 12:20–36

Some Greeks Wish to See Jesus

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.

Jesus Speaks about His Death

‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?’ Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’

The Unbelief of the People

After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.


The Fruit:
Our hearts' longing should be, "O Lord, let the beauty of Christ be seen in me as the result of this Lenten journey". If so, the fruit of the Holy Spirit will be evident in and through our lives. The fruit is, "Liove, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23).
—— Metropolitan Yohan

Fasting

Black Bean Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (5ml) ground cumin
  • ½ tsp (2ml) ground coriander (optional)
  • 3 tbsp (50ml) fresh chopped oregano or 2 tsp (10ml) dried
  • ½ cup medium hot salsa
  • 2 cans (each 14 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 flour tortillas (12inch)
  • 12 oz Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • Low fat sour cream
  • Salsa

Method

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add onion, carrot and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 4 mins or until onions are very tender.
  2. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander and oregano; cook another 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in salsa and drained beans. Toss to coat and remove from heat.
  4. Lay tortilla shells on flat work surface. Place about ½ cup (125 ml) beans mixture in the middle of each tortilla; top with ¼ cup (50ml) cheese.
  5. Roll up tortillas envelope style (fold opposite sides in about 1 inch/2.5 cm then fold one long side over beans and roll to enclose them,) place seams side down on baking sheet.
  6. Bake in preheated 350℉ oven for 25 min or until golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature, top with the low fat sour cream and more salsa.


Giving

Watch the beautiful story of Bible woman Jaishri. Like most Asian women, Jaishri has had an incredibly tough life. Yet, out of the ashes, God has raised up a powerful testimony of His grace and love.

Watch the Video

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Source for Collects: The Collects are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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