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Thursday, February 23, 2023

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St. Polycarp

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

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it’s your choice

“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life.” —Deuteronomy 30:19

Recently, a group of Catholics were praying a rosary in front of the local abortion mill. A car drove by and a woman shouted at the group, “My body, my choice!” She made a choice as proclaimed in today’s Mass readings: to choose life or death, blessing or curse (Dt 30:19).

How incredible that Almighty God gives us human beings the freedom to choose our own eternal destiny, heaven or hell. There is no other option. The love of God is so magnanimous and total that He offers us freedom to make such powerful choices (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 160). However, in that same love, He reveals Himself so that we might have every opportunity to choose both Him and His love. God desires to overwhelm us with blessings (Dt 28:2). Yet we have to choose the life of blessings He sets before us (Dt 30:19).

At the conclusion of Lent, at the Easter Vigil or on Easter Sunday, we will renew our baptismal promises. The priest will ask us six questions only answered “Yes” or “No.” Likewise, only two choices are offered by God: heaven or hell, life or death, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of darkness.

As we begin Lent, “choose life” (Dt 30:19). Choose blessing. Reject the curse. Reject hell. Choose God.

Prayer:  Father, this Lent, may I choose Your way of life every moment of every day.

Promise:  “Whoever wishes to be My follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in My steps. Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” —Lk 9:23-24

Praise:  “Eighty-six years I have served Him, and He has never done me wrong. How, then, should I be able to blaspheme my King Who has saved me?” (The Martyrdom of Polycarp, 155 AD)

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

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