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Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Luke 9:22-25

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choosing life by choosing to die

“Jesus said to all: ‘Whoever wishes to be My follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in My steps.’ ” —Luke 9:23

Scripture exhorts us: “Choose life”! (Dt 30:19) However, Jesus tells us to die to ourselves in order to follow Him. How can we choose life, but die to ourselves? Jesus calls us to, in effect, choose death — death to ourselves, that is (Lk 9:23). As the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi says, it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Jesus chose to obey His Father’s will; He not only died to Himself, but literally was put to death. The heavenly Father sent His Son to die so that we might live (Jn 3:16). We are likewise called to choose life, not death. Yet in the Christian mystery, by choosing to die to ourselves, our own will and desires, and by denying our very selves and following in the footsteps of Jesus, we gain eternal life (Mt 16:24-25). By contrast, if we choose our own will, and seemingly save our life, we lose it all (Mk 8:35).

St. Paul understood this profoundly. He testified: “I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:19-20). Choose life by choosing to die to yourself for Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, I surrender to You my every desire. I am wholeheartedly Yours.

Promise:  “Happy the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on His law day and night.” —Ps 1:1-2

Praise:  Richard, a young man, continually prays for a rebirth of chastity, especially among the youth.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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