Choosing Everlasting Life


Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Dt 30: 15-20; Luke 9: 22-25

Dc. Larry Brockman

Things have not changed in thousands of years.  The choice Moses presents to the Israelis was the same as the choice Jesus had 2000 years later, and is the same as the choice we have today, 2000 years after that.  Only Jesus made the reward more specific.  Because the long life that Moses promised to his people, appeared to be an earthly award- one here in this world.  The promise Jesus made is life in the Kingdom of God. 

If we choose life and prosperity rather than death and doom, then we must face into the fact that such a choice in this world involves a sacrifice, just like it did for Jesus.  We are invited to spend the forty days of Lent reflecting on our lives by using Prayer and Fast and Almsgiving to help us detach ourselves from our worldly passions, and by listening to what God is asking of us.  That’s what Jesus did.  He went into the desert when he was in his thirties, and prayed and fasted for 40 days.  And when he returned, he made the stark and grim announcement to his disciples that we heard this morning.  He told his disciples that he discerned that he would suffer much and die- that was God’s will for him.  Then he goes on to say:  “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it”.  He shared with us the results of his desert experience, his communion with his father.  And it is simply this:  It’s all about living God’s will for us.  That’s what it takes to save your life for the Kingdom of God. 

Fortunately for us, we are not called upon to make the severe sacrifice that Jesus made, one in which the God made man was humbled by being betrayed by his friends, beat severely, and hung on a cross- an agonizing and painful death.  But all of us are called to make a sacrifice, deferring our agendas for the one that God makes known to us.  It may not be clear this year, or even in the next few years, what that is.  But if we are open to God, at sometime during our lives, in God’s time, we will be able to discern His will for us, the sacrifice he is asking us to make.  Is it caring for our families at the expense of a career?  Is it being a caregiver for a sick or aging person?  Is it devoting your life to God as a religious or priest?  Is it passionate expression or practice of some talent that you have?  It could be one of many things. 

This is the time of the year when the Church calls of us to put aside, the things of the world for a while-  long enough to listen, listen for that small voice of God just like Jesus did in his 40 days.  Are you listening? 

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