If you have been following my blog, you have noticed that I lost my job three weeks ago today. Along with that, there have been additional health concerns that have developed within my family. Needless to say, it's been a rough few weeks.
In today's reading from Deuteronomy, Moses lays it out clearly for the people of Israel:
"I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life then, that you and your descendants may live..."
Thinking of this reading, one can see how easy it would be for me (and all of us) to look at all of the "bad" stuff that is going on in our lives and have that dictate the way we live. How easy it would be to become a bitter person because things are not going the way we think it should be going. How easy it would be to treat other people rudely because we are not in the proper state of mind.
But this is precisely the time when we need to choose life! We need to hear and act on the Word of God, and live our lives according to the gospel. Following God's way releases life into us and to the people around us. When we are full of life, we can then fill others with the joy and love that we have. Life is contagious!
During Lent, we need to take the opportunity to choose life through our practices of fasting, praying, and almsgiving. And just like in our Ash Wednesday gospel, we should not be gloomy and miserable so that everybody knows that we are doing something. We just need to go do it, filled with the love of God. We may have to make some sacrifices at times to follow Jesus, but it is then when we discover that what we give up is usually not worth having anyway.
So we pray that we always choose life, and become the best Christians we can possibly be.