Thursday after Ash Wednesday
(Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Luke 9:22-25)
We have chosen Jesus’ way to life. But have we been faithful to that selection? During Lent we test ourselves and make all necessary adjustments to renew the choice. We can foresee ourselves safely back on the road to full life by Easter and happily partaking of it in the resurrection of the dead.
“Choose life.” We have all seen bumper stickers with this anti-abortion message. No doubt, people who feel burdened by an unexpected pregnancy find the message ironic. To them life is being liberated from the responsibility of a child so that they may pursue their own felt needs. Life, then, is one of those simple words with a range of meanings.
In the reading from Deuteronomy today, Moses exhorts the Israelites to “choose life.” He has in mind God’s righteousness that promises to benefit both individual and community. By following God’s commandments not only the present generation but future ones as well will thrive. As is his wont, Jesus radicalizes Moses’ message. He says in today’s gospel that life comes when we choose to surrender ourselves to God’s love as he does. This may mean even a renunciation of biological life, but his promise is for unimagined, eternal in God.