Choices Make Our Vocation: Thursday After Ash Wednesday

Our readings today remind us that our whole life is about making choices. I can probably reasonably presume that if you’re reading this reflection and this blog, you’re a person prone to making good choices. I say that because I haven’t always been that person, and I wouldn’t have been the person reading reflections like these for ¾ of my life (fortunately, by the grace of God I have been doing better these last 14 years or so). In our first reading today from Deuteronomy, we hear it said: “See, I have set before you today life & prosperity, death & adversity.” We have been given the gift to choose and it is a gift. God loves us beyond measure, totally and completely but He doesn’t force us to love Him because that wouldn’t be true love. Likewise, He gives us every reason to have faith, and to respond to that faith in generosity through our own particular and unique vocation – but again, He doesn’t force us. In our Gospel today, Jesus expresses what He must suffer and undergo. This is met with rebuff by the disciples, but He doesn’t express it with an attitude of regret or reluctance. Perhaps a sense of sadness because the state of humanity has come to this; but He is willing and committed to make the choice to give His life totally and completely for others. While He calls us to do the same, Jesus knows that few will be called to make the ultimate sacrifice; but all are called to total and complete commitment. That is what we are all called to; if we accept Jesus as Lord and the Gospel as truly the Good News of salvation, then we can’t give ourselves in half-measure or with divided hearts. And this is a sacrifice; this is something that we have to prepare for, which is why we’re reminded of it at Lent. And this, if we live it out – is our vocation. Friends, we are given a choice; live the Gospel or pay lip service to it, and then carry on only mildly committed to it. Our lives will be affected either way. If we are not fully committed, then neither will be fully committed to our faith but if we are committed to it, then we are well on the road to discovering what God has in store for us; that is our vocation.   May God bless you.

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