Grace to you!
On this Day 2 of Lent, may we continue from where we stopped yesterday by reflecting on how the choices we make in life matter. As I hinted yesterday, the two central messages of Lent are a call to conversion and an invitation to a deeper relationship with Jesus through connecting with the events of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
From Ash Wednesday, what is actually called “pre-Lent,” to the Saturday of the 3rd week of Lent, the message centers on repentance and conversion. From the 4th Sunday to the end of Lent on the Eve of Holy Thursday, the theme centers on the person of Jesus Christ, discovering the suffering Messiah. So all of our entire reflections up to the 3rd week of Lent will, in one way or another, draw us to self-examination, leading to conversion or ongoing conversion.
May we return to our theme for today. Do the choices we make in life matter? Sounds like a dumb question, doesn’t it? Nonetheless, experience shows it’s a relevant question to ask.
Suppose you decide to eat chocolate every day. Would it affect your health? Suppose you choose to run the red light. Does it really matter?
How about the choice to act unjustly, to be unfaithful in your relationships? Or not support your kids when they need you the most; or simply not attend their graduation for no just reason? Such choices will have disastrous consequences, won’t they?
How about the choice to reject God and His grace? Does it matter?
Experts in human development agree that the choices we make in life make or mar us. It’s a general human life ethical principle.
I suppose it’s this ethical principle which the Lenten Season is drawing our attention to through the story in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy 30:15-20. In the story, Moses, the greatest leader in the Old Testament spoke to the people of Israel, calling on them to choose between the good and the bad, life and death.
Similarly, Jesus Christ in the New Testament gospel of Luke 9:22-25 invited his disciples to consider the implicit choice connected with being his disciples. It has to do with the choice for what is good and right which often is uncomfortable. We know in life, nothing good comes easy. The choice to be a follower of Christ comes with the cross and suffering too. Yet it shouldn't deter us from choosing it.
During this Lent, wouldn’t it be a wonderful idea to add to our desire to be better people, the decision to choose what is good for us, since the choices we make in life matter. Please do not tell me your resolution for Lent is to avoid coffee? Nice but…?
How about considerations like these: Are their choices I have made that need reconsideration, those choices that make me sad, bitter, resentful, generally unhappy; those choices that deprive me of the joy of the Lord? Altering them is necessary. No need to procrastinate. Lent is a decision point.
Praying with you for the grace to make the right choices. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday after Ash Wednesday: Dt. 30:15-20; Lk 9:22-25]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.