St. Valentine St. Valentine

Lectionary # 221. Feb. 14, Thursday after Ash Wednesday.  Scriptures: Deuteronomy 30:15-20.  Psalm 1:1-2. 3.4.6. Luke 9:22-25:

Deuteronomy reminds us that our covenantal love of  God is essential to this season of Lent.  We are almost commanded to choose life over any hint of death so that we may be blessed in the realm of God.  Deuteronomy is the love-commandment scroll of God to Israel and we are to embrace its call to love God with our whole heart, our soul, our mind, and all of our being.  Lent is a wholesome experience when seen in the light of the covenant both of Moses and of Jesus.  Brother Leo Murray, S.M., who worked long and hard for peace in Ireland frequently cited the call of Moses :“Choose life!”

Psalm one is a wisdom psalm which encourages us to choose the right paths in life so that we may enjoy life in God abundantly.  To do this we need to meditate on God’s covenants, laws, and precepts.  We are to ruminate about them, ponder them over, and pray about them.  We are then people of wisdom who will flourish with the goods of nature and grace.  It is a challenge to be thinking frequently of God’s ways not my way.  We do not sing “And I did it my way.”  We are choosing life over faithless wanderings and egoistic narcissism.

Luke helps us to map out our Lenten journey.  We must remember that the Journey Narrative of Luke is the center part of his gospel lasting nine chapters out of his twenty-four.  We are given instructions on how to follow Jesus on his journey up to Jerusalem as disciples.  Jesus tells us to take up our cross and to follow in his footsteps.  It is a daily task and he reminds us that the journey is one day at a time (daily is used here and in Luke’s form of the Our Father).  We are choosing life and saving life by our following of Jesus during this season of Lent.  The Paschal Mysteries frame the intentional goal of the journey.  We are to die to ourselves and live fully for God and for one another.

This second day of Lent point out this goal of Lent (entrance into the mysteries of Christ’s journey of life, sufferings, death, and resurrection) and offers us ways to choose life daily in Christ and with Christ.  We call to mind the frequent call of Paul who says, “For me to live, is Christ.” (Philippians 1:21).

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Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.