Entering upon this journey of renewal that is Lent, we are reminded by Jesus in today's Gospel that "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." There are many paths to take, many roads to follow, and knowing the directions, where we are going and how best to get there, is essential to our safe arrival at our destination. Map Quest and GPS help us on our more mundane travels, but the importance of our spiritual journey is too great to "wing it" or to rely upon earthly wisdom. In the days before those directional aides, my Dad always hated driving in Pittsburgh - too many one way streets for his taste. I explained to him that the key to getting to your destination if you make the wrong turn is to go around the block and try again. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not.
Our spiritual GPS is given us in the Scriptures and in our faith. Once we have made the decision as to our goal, the way is found in Christ - who is the way, the truth and the life. Moses in the first reading today asks us to make the decision: life and prosperity or death and doom. He says: "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him." And the way is laid out in the loving of the Lord, the heeding of his voice, and the holding on to him. Lent is a renewal of our YES to life and our trust in the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. Choose life ... renew life ... live life!