March 7 / Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; But their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.~ Ps 1:1-2
Not a day goes by when each of us isn’t faced with a plethora of choices. Sometimes these are inconsequential: Which type of socks shall I buy? Which bus or train will get me to my destination on time? What shall I have for dinner? But when it comes to moral and spiritual choices — that is, what kind of life we are going to live — there are no inconsequential decisions. Every choice we make in this realm sets us on a path either towards or away from God. In his classic apologetic work Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis elucidates the binary with his customary clarity: “Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature.” Any of us, of course, is susceptible to the enticements that lie on the other side of God’s commandments. But the psalmist is clear: Either we commit ourselves to following the law of the Lord (the Hebrew word here, Torah, connotes “instruction” or “teaching”), or we turn our hearts away from God and choose the path of sin. Or as Moses presents the stark choice to the people of Israel in today’s first reading from Deuteronomy, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then.” Let us hold fast to a way of life characterized by the love of God and by the delighted obedience that springs from that love.
O God, master of all living things, help me to absorb your teaching, and in all my daily decisions to choose life for you and with you and in you.Amen.
For today’s readings, click here.
[Editors’ note: This is part of a daily Lenten reflection series. Sign up for our America Today newsletter to receive each reflection every day in your inbox.]