Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Theme: The choices we make

In the 1st reading from the book of Deuteronomy, Moses encourages us to be mindful of the choices we make. If we make the right choices, it will bring us life and good and if we make the wrong choices it will bring us death and evil. It is our duty to make choices about our life, taking into consideration what we intend to achieve at the end. If our desire is for life and the good, then we have to embrace the teachings of Christ, especially the invitation for prayer, fasting and almsgiving during this season of Lent; an opportunity for self-restraint and holiness of life.

The season of Lent presents us the opportunity to strive and make the right choices in our life, as we embrace the cross of Christ in our daily life. Just like Jesus tells us in today’s gospel, we have to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him; if we truly desire to rise with him triumphantly at Easter. The desire to embrace our cross daily goes with a price that we must pay. This price can come in different ways; it entails mortification, sacrifice, self-emptying and penance. The season of Lent is a time when the grace of God abounds in our lives. Let us avail of ourselves this wonderful opportunity presented to us by the church to embrace holiness of life.

It is when we make the right choice that we can opt to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Christ. Humanly speaking it is a difficult choice to make, but when there is will there is always a way. When we resolve to make it happen and we work for it, the grace of God will supply what our human strength cannot give us. We cannot take the cross of Christ fore-granted because Jesus has giving the cross a new meaning. In the cross is our peace, joy, victory and salvation. Jesus is encouraging us today not to shy away from the cross, but rather to embrace it and meet Christ in our cross.

Dearly beloved in Christ, let us make honest and sincere effort to make this year’s Lenten season count in our life. May God strengthen our resolve to make the right choice at all times. Peace be with you.

Homily for Thursday after Ash Wednesday, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp