Meditation for Thursday after Ash Wednesday
(Deut 30:15-20; Lk 9:22-25)

At this early morning of our Lenten journey this year, Moses calls on the Israelites to choose between life and death. The commandments he placed before they define their frame of choices! You can either choose to keep the commandments or not. To choose the commandments means to choose to love God and walk in His ways. “Then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you…” It is this blessing of God on those who keep His commandments that sustain their lives. But to choose not to keep the commandments is to choose to live by oneself or to live for other gods. Such a life does not enjoy God’s blessings, and surely, it will wither away.

Lent gives us a favorable opportunity to make a great choice for life. The Lenten observances, together with the liturgical activities of this season, summon us to choose the love of God over above love of the self by keeping His commandment, thereby making ourselves available for God’s blessings. At the time of Moses, this anticipated ‘blessings of life’ was basically to live and multiply in the Land, which the Lord God swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

But in the Gospel of today, we discover that the frame of ‘choice for life’ has been upgraded: We are asked to ‘choose death to have a life! LIFE is hidden in the death of Jesus Christ; if we choose the death of Christ, we shall have His life. Beyond the Promised Land, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob longed for the Messiah. That means the ‘anticipated blessings of life’ promised to our fathers are now fulfilled in Jesus. “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.”

This Lent we try to re-live and renew the imprint of the passion of Christ in our hearts (2 Cor 4:10-11). By keeping the commandments, we learn how not to live by our human will but to selflessly abide by the will of God. This is how we begin to FOLLOW Christ and walk with Him in the paths of prayer, fasting, and Almsgivings. So no one can claim to follow Jesus Christ without a Cross; He has gone ahead of us to Calvary. Behind every cross, we bear in the name of Jesus is an abundance of life.  Choose wisely!


Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Lagos.
Thursday, February 18th, 2021.

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