Updated: Feb 28, 2020
Throughout the Season of Lent, we will be sharing reflections on the daily scripture readings sourced from contemporary and traditional religious writers and sources. Today's reflection is from The Word Among Us.
Do you want Lent to be fruitful this year? Try thinking of it as a journey you’re taking with the disciples as Jesus prepares for his passion, death, and resurrection. You will hear Jesus preach and tell parables; you will see him heal and feed the needy. How will you respond? Each day, each step of the journey gives you another chance to choose to follow him.
Following the Lord requires choosing. Each reading today says so. Moses gives his farewell address to the Israelites, and his main point is that if they want to receive God’s life, they have to choose to follow and obey him (Deuteronomy 30:15-20). Jesus predicts his passion and gives the disciples a list of things they need to choose to do: deny themselves, take up their crosses daily, and follow him (Luke 9:23). Even today’s psalm describes the blessed people who follow the Lord—they choose not to follow the counsel of the wicked; they delight in God’s law. As a result, they are like a well-watered, fruitful tree (Psalm 1:1-3).
The same is true for us: choosing to follow God gives us life. So go ahead and spend a little more time in prayer or Scripture reading. Attend your parish’s Stations of the Cross. Give to the poor, whether you talk with the homeless man on the street corner or spend an afternoon preparing meals at a shelter. Wash your family’s dirty dishes or pick up after your loved ones with a smile.
This might sound like a spiritual to-do list. But there’s more to it than that. As you take more time to pray, you may notice a sense of joy welling up in you, even in difficulty. As you reach out to give to the needy, you may get a clearer glimpse of Jesus’ love for the poor. As you choose to serve your family even when you’re aggravated, you may discover a new sense of peace. Every decision to follow Jesus nourishes your soul like a river watering a tree (Psalm 1:3).
So rely on God’s grace and say yes to him. As you journey with Jesus through Lent, you’ll start resembling him more in your thoughts, words, and actions. That’s what his life does in you!
“Lord, help me choose to walk with you today.”
Prompt our actions with your inspiration, we pray, O Lord, and further them with your constant help, that all we do may always begin from you and by you be brought to completion.