Almighty, eternal and merciful God, whose Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, open and illuminate our minds, that we may purely and perfectly understand your Word and that our lives may be conformed to what we have rightly understood, that in nothing we may be displeasing unto your majesty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. - the daily morning prayer of Ulrich Zwingli, from Gregg Alison's "Introduction to Historical Theology"
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Let nothing disturb thee;
Let nothing dismay thee:
All thing pass;
God never changes.
All that it strives for.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.
— "Poem IX," from the Complete Works St. Teresa of Avila (1963) Vol. 3, edited by E. Allison Peers
Today is the day that some Christian traditions commemorate Annunciation, the announcement to Mary that she would give birth to the promised Savior. The story of Gabriel's visit to Mary is one we usually associate with Christmas, not Easter. Does your anticipation of Easter in just a few weeks give you a different perspective on the angel's joyous announcement?