Thursday 11th February: Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Reflection: Deuteronomy 30: 15-20
CHOICE AND CONSEQUENCES
How many people today live in deep sorrows and regret as a result of the poor choices made in the past? Much as we all have intrinsic desires to be free and exercise our freedom, it is important we ask ourselves how often we consider the obvious and possible consequences of our actions. No matter where we stand on this, an obvious fact is that we cannot just wish away the consequences of our choices. As youths in particular, we can choose to be diligent or slothful; to be chaste or sexually loose. We can choose to allow our character and conscience to be shaped by the eternal word of God or by the deceptive standard of this world.
Despite God’s love and intimate fellowship with our first parents, Adam and Eve, there freedom of choice was well respected by Him (Genesis 3). This continues to be the case even with us Christians of today. God seeks that we would make a choice of Him and His precepts in liberty and love. He continues to make clear to us, as we can see in today’s Gospel, that a decision to follow Him will necessarily demand self-renunciation (Luke 9: 23-24) and a wholehearted acceptance of our crosses.
However, we must never allow ourselves to be deterred by the demands or challenges of righteous pursuits. The Psalmist today is full of encouragement on this – “Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord” (Psalm 1). He who flees the pains of godly discipline must be prepared to accommodate the pains that come with the contrary alternatives. The admonition of Moses to the Israelites in today’s first reading remains relevant to us Christians of today – Choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). It is only in accepting the life-giving precepts of God that we can be assured of His unfailing blessings and have fulfilment of heart. Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows (Psalm16:4).
PRAYER: Constantly make clear to me your blessed will oh Lord and kindly fill me with renewed grace to accept and abide by it! Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1696- The way of Christ “leads to life;” a contrary way “leads to destruction.” The Gospel parable of the two ways remains ever present in the catechesis of the Church; it shows the importance of moral decision for our salvation: “There are two ways, the one of life, the other of death; but between the two, there is a great difference.”
HIDE A TREASURE: “…I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 30: 19b).
Today’s Readings: Deuteronomy 30: 15-20; Psalm 1: 1-4, 6; Luke 9: 22-25