Thursday March 10, 2011
Scripture: Lk: 9: 22-25
“Choose life so that you and your descendants may live...” More than three thousand years after Moses issued this call to the Israelites, God is still extending the same offer to us. He is urging us to live according to his ways so that we can know him and his peace more deeply. So what will you choose today: the way of life or the way of death?
We know which way God wants us to choose, but we also know it’s not always easy to make that choice. Our faith may be weak. We may doubt that we can trust Jesus. Or we may have turned aside from his path and are not sure how to get back on the right track. Usually, when we find ourselves struggling to embrace God’s ways, the real struggle is that we have lost sight of who Jesus is. And that makes it harder to choose the life that he is calling us to live.
Today’s Gospel gives us a summary of the life of following Jesus. It will not always be easy and it requires living in a different way than others in the world.
Christian history is filled with people who sacrificed their lives for their faith, but for most of us, “losing our life” does not mean physical dying as we try to live out this life as followers of Jesus. The way most of us “lose our life” is much less dramatic, much less memorable every day. How are we being asked to give ourselves away in here and now?
On the second day of Lent, many of us might be thinking of what we might “give up” for Lent. It’s an old custom and a good one, and if we began it as children, we might remember giving up chocolate, television or desserts. But as we grow older, we might be looking for something with more meaning to it. This Lent might be a time to “give up” something that will make us different persons 40 days from now.
Doing any things faithfully for six weeks will change our lives and the lives of others around us. It is part of what God is inviting us to this Lent: a chance to make myself a better person and a chance to connect each day with God.
Jesus asks today, “What does it profit them if they gain the whole world but lose or forfeit themselves?” For the next six weeks of this Lenten season, we can truly find ourselves by giving up our own needs and desires and focusing on the lives of others. Amen