Thursday, February 26, 2009
Choose Life and Hold Fast to God (Dt30:15-20)
"I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him." Loving, heeding, and holding are the components that allow us to recognize the blessings of Almighty God in our life. Clearly Moses tells the people of Israel this truth in the first reading today. The disciplines of Lent (prayer, fasting, alms giving) aid us during this holy time to do these three things: love the Lord, heed His voice, and hold fast to Him. Many who struggle in their spiritual life only rely upon the first point. They love God and do not understand why they struggle even as they ignore the next two points. Some in their spiritual lives do actually heed God's voice. They love God and heed His voice still they struggle and wonder why. Only in following all that Moses says can we find peace even in the midst of our struggles, our sins, our sufferings, and temptations. We must hold fast to the Lord. This is in reality the most important point in Moses' instruction for it is the point at which our decision for life or death must be made. When we are desperate, confused, hurt, and floundering is when we must hold fast to our Lord even if we do not feel His Presence. We cling to Him in Truth not in emotion. He Loves us and thus we love Him. This is the Truth of our life. In Loving us our Lord does not abandon us, and He speaks to us even when He is silent. This is the Truth of our relationship with Him. Therefore we cling to Him; we hold fast. In doing so we find peace even as we struggle in our spiritual lives. The disciplines of Lent are meant to strengthen our grip. In essence they bring comfort to us and to our struggle to turn away from sin and believe in the Good News.