March 7, 2019 Thursday after Ash Wednesday-C

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Psalm 1

Luke 9:22-25

“I set before you life and death…Choose life, then that you and your descendants may live…”  Dt. 30:19

“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” Lk. 9:25

Lord, it can seem strange to say that by dying to self I gain eternal life.  Yet that is what you call your disciples to do.  If I want to follow in your footsteps I must realize that your footsteps lead to Calvary and the cross.  So, what does “dying to self” really mean for me?  I guess the ultimate would be giving my life for my faith like the martyrs Perpetua and Felicity.  I so admire and respect anyone who can die rather than deny their belief in you.  I’m not sure I have that courage in me.  I think “dying to self” and “taking up my cross” can apply to the numerous times each day I can turn to you in prayer.  All the times I can accept suffering with patience and offer it to you.  I can die to self by serving in a food pantry or visiting a lonely neighbor.  I can take up the cross of standing firm in my respect for life.  Lord, help me to stack my priorities so I always have time for you.  Fill me with your grace so I will not falter when it gets difficult to be a Catholic Christian.  Amen.