God puts before us a blessing and a curse. Seems like an easy choice, a no-brainer. Who would not want to choose the blessing, to choose life?
The challenge is that in the gospel Jesus presents us with the consequences of choosing life. Choosing life means denying self, taking up a cross, losing our life, being willing to follow the example of Jesus, who “must suffer greatly and be rejected.”
The life Jesus proposes is a paradox. To find life, we must lose it. To enter into this powerful relationship with Jesus, we must take up a cross.
How is it that these things can be life-giving? How can choosing life be so difficult?
It is difficult because of the paradox of love. Think about people you love. Do you not sacrifice for them? Do you not surrender some good things you want for the sake of the one you love?
Lent is a time to recognize that in order to follow Jesus, we too must be willing to sacrifice. We too must be willing to do without so that we have more to give to others.
Let us pray.
Dear Jesus, I want to love you with my whole heart, but I know that I do not always give my whole heart to you. I hang on to things for myself when I could be considering other people and their needs. Help me to become more generous by fully recognizing all that you have done for me. I pray in your name, Jesus. Amen.
Cheezy Piano Medley by Alexander Nakarada