Moses said to the people: ‘See, today I set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I enjoin on you today, if you love the Lord your God and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws, his customs, you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to make your own. But if your heart strays, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshipping other gods and serving them, I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today: I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of the Lord your God, obeying his voice, clinging to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends your long stay in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he would give them.’
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’
Then to all he said:
‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self?’
“Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live…”
Do we choose life in our daily lives? Do we choose to give life in our words and deeds? Are we a blessing to others or a curse?
It is so hard to be part of this world as a Christian. The world will always tempt and entice us with fame, glitz and glory; it’s about survival of the fittest, to win at all cost, but truly at what cost? Our soul? A high price to pay indeed. Jesus is not forcing us to follow Him blindly and certainly not threatening us with fears and damnation. The invitation is to respond to Him in love! In all that I do, in my choices every day, to renounce the way of the world no matter how difficult it may be.
Our Church emphasizes the concept of Imitatio Christi (imitation of Christ), which can be summarized in the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD), a movement in the 1990s as a personal motto for adherents of Christianity. In my daily struggles, to ask myself “WWJD?”, that will be a Christ-centered way of examining our motivations, choices and decisions; offering it all up in supplication to be led by His light.
To follow Jesus is a conscious living and giving of life and to be a blessing to everyone we encounter, for ours is a Living God and Jesus is alive and lives in us and through us. When we refuse to be drawn into the way of the world, when we choose life, we have won back our soul!
As we enter the season of Lent, let’s ask ourselves, what choices can I make today that bring life to others? WWJD?
(Today’s Oxygen by Lorraine Wong)
Prayer: Jesus, you came to show us the way. Let us continue to fix our gaze upon you, our Lord, leaving the world behind us, choosing to love you no matter what. And even when we falter, which we will, help us to turn back to you in humility, and start again.
Thanksgiving: Our Father, thank you for allowing us this freedom to choose and be co-operators of your plan. Not because you need us but because we need it to reciprocate our love for you.