Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Scriptural readings: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4+6; Luke 9:22-25
My dear encountered couples:
Every day involves choices. Few of us can do two things at the same time, and so we have to choose which one it will be. Will I do this or will I do that? With each choice comes a denial. With each choice, I make to do something I must deny myself from doing other things. Choices are not always easy. How so very often I feel later like I made the wrong choice! But that’s life!
Some people do their best not to make choices. They don’t want to be responsible for mistakes. They’d rather have someone else make the choice, and if anything goes wrong it would be the other guy at fault, not I. Jesus says we must make choices, we must choose this, deny ourselves of that. “Whoever wishes to be my follower,” Jesus said, “must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps.” Choosing between things is a cross we all must bear. The consequences of our choices are crosses we must take responsibility for. And we find those consequences usually lead to other choices we must make. On and on it goes. Yes, every day involves choices. That’s why it is so important to be open and receptive to advice from the Holy Spirit.
The person who habitually, sincerely prays is in contact with God and is more apt to receive his messages than those who don’t. Even when prayerful people don’t realize they are being directed by God, their desires and urges, especially their conscience can give good clues to God’s will for them. If you really want God to lead and guide you, he will. With your permission, he will give you direction through your normal desiring things and through your conscience. Mistakes still remain a possibility. But as I said, that’s life. Jesus made choices and faced the consequences. And so must you – if you wish to take up your cross and follow him.