It is 7th March 2019. We celebrate the memorials of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, martyrs. The readings are from Deuteronomy 30:15-20; and the Gospel from Luke 9:22-25. On the very first day of the Lent, the Mother Church and ever-loving God wants us to choose life and willing to let go life in order to be near God, and to experience God in suffering humanity. God never wanted us to die. Even in the Garden of Eden, God admonished them to embrace life. “In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen.2:8). Man has been given “freewill” by God. One of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. God wishes the best for humanity right from the start. God’s eternal gift to humanity is life. God desires that we preserve, treasure and treat life the way God wants and therefore God offers us freedom to choose. “God does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9). God respected humanity and allowed us to cherish life. God leaves the choosing to us. But the humanity chose what was forbidden by God. God desires that we grow, develop and constantly make effort with the help of God to know and to avoid evil. We cannot claim any growth, development and achievement of our own purposefully and wilfully leaving God and God’s assistance. When our choices exclude God, whatever we have chosen will be lifeless, fruitless, and meaningless. There is no happiness, prosperity and blessing without God. Human efforts mostly are selfish, greedy, individualistic and sinful. A handful of people transcend above these currents of death, adversity, and all kinds of human abuses by caring, loving and sharing the best of their ability for the welfare of the humanity forgetting their own interests and likings. By annihilating, opposing and disobeying God constantly deter life and prosperity. Our choice truly matters for blessing, prosperity and life. Our souls turn into a desert by a wrong and selfish choices. Even if all the options are closed, God’s promotions are still wide open for those who choose God. The first reading cautions us that our choice to hold on to God or to leave either bring blessings, increase and life or curses, failures and death. “Living in the love of the Lord, obeying God’s voice, clinging to God; for in this your life consists, and on this depends your long stay in the land.” (Deut.30:20). The responsorial Psalm praises, “Happy are they who hope in the Lord.” (Ps. 39:5). Willing to suffering for the sake of good and purifying ourselves with sacrifices are the surest roadmap to Heaven. In the Gospel, Jesus invites us to let go life by being responsible follower of Christ. People who love themselves too much and value their existence at the cost of others destroy the welfare of their own souls. By our self-denial, and self-renunciation we strengthen our souls while by self-glory and advertisements we destroy our very selves. “What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” (Luke 9:25). May we live a life that please God but never tease the humanity. May you have a god day. May God bless you.

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