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Thursday after Ash Wednesday

February 26, 2009

Blessed Thursday!

Lord, may everything we do
begin with Your inspiration,
continue with Your help,
and reach perfection under Your guidance.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.
(Opening Prayer from Mass)

Today’s readings:
Deuteronomy. 30:15-20 (choose life; choose God)
Psalm 1: 1-6 “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord”
+Luke 9:22-25 (following Christ means denying ourselves)

“Choose life, that you and your descendants may live!” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Well, duh. When you put it that way, it sounds so obvious, so redundant. Why would anyone in their right mind choose death for themselves and for their children? Yet we do, every day. That’s what sin is.

And it’s no accident that a culture that winks at sin has become a culture that embraces the active destruction of innocent life on a massive scale. Some 4,000 children die of abortion every day; not counting those whose lives are prematurely ended through the abortifacient effects of chemical “contraception”; not counting the woman who suffer and die from the side-effects of abortion and contraception; not counting the ill and aged who are being manipulated into “choosing” suicide because they’re a “burden” to others.

This is simply the fruit of our choice to take the easy way out, to please ourselves and other people rather than God. We’ve chosen the curse and it’s been delivered, leaving in its wake the carnage of broken bodies and shattered souls.

But we don’t have to keep it.

“When God, in the beginning, created man,
He made him subject to his own free choice.
If you choose you can keep the commandments;
it is loyalty to do His will.
There are set before you fire and water;
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.” -Sirach 15:14-17

“If you choose you can keep the commandments…whichever he chooses shall be given him.”

Lent is a renewed call to make this choice, to deny ourselves and take up our cross of suffering in imitation of Jesus, to lose our lives for His sake (Luke 9:23-24) by keeping His commandments. When we choose life–and put our money where our mouth is–then life will be given to us and to our children forever.

We hold the key.

“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

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