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March 11, Ugochukwu SJ - Jesuits of North-West Africa Province | Society of Jesus

Saturday, First Week of Lent 

March 11, 2017

First Reading: Deuteronomy 26: 16-19
Psalm: 119:1-2.4-5.7-8 (R.1b)
Gospel Reading: Mathew 5:43-48

by *Mr. Chinonso Vitalis Ugochukwu, SJ

The readings of today are quite honestly difficult to take from the realms of conceptual and analytical reasoning to practical realization. Some points and questions drawn from the above texts of scripture has brought some of the greatest puzzles to me as a Christian from my very early days. Is it possible to keep the statues and ordinances of the Lord without falling? Am I walking in the law of the Lord amidst my daily choices and actions? Is perfection ever possible? The above questions amidst many others make the readings of today loaded.

In my reflection, I try to narrow the above questions into one. I ask myself what made it possible for Jesus to live the kind of life he lived and how can I emulate that? I marvel at the singular purpose of the life of Christ, and how you and I are invited to follow this pathway of Christ this Lenten season. The pathway of Christ, the singular purpose, is that of the love of God. The love of the Father was the singular catalyst that motivated Christ through his time on earth to live the invitations that the scripture makes to us today. When we as Christians do go about our everyday lives with the love of God, allowing it to influence our choices and actions, we birth an attitude that changes things. This love transforms our lives, transcending sinful tendencies that radiate sorrow and makes us full of gloom to grace filled vessels giving joy.

To keep an attitude that points towards our Love for God as Christians is not without its trials and oppositions. Hence, we ought to keep strong in our struggles against evil in our lives just like Christ. It also means that sometimes we could fall, but based on the attitude we posses as Christians, we maintain an onward movement that urges us to get up and keep striving in the Faith as Christ did. Our Christian journey as pilgrims is one that invites us to a process leading to an end. This process of daily living in love and by so doing keeping the commandments as the reading enjoins us today, is where our perfection lies.

This Lenten season through the readings of today, invites us to have an attitude of love. An attitude that springs from our love of God, just like Christ, that influences our choices and actions, and aids our discernment in all things. We are also encouraged to know that in this journey God goes with us just like Christ. We have not just a model in Christ in how best to live as Christians, but more so we have our heavenly Father as company in and through our relationship with him strengthened and deepened in prayer, the scriptures and the Eucharist. May the Lord grant us the graces we need as Christians to live our calling in attitudes leading from the sorrow of sin to the joy of love and service to God and one another. Amen.

*Mr. Chinonso Vitalis Ugochukwu , SJ,  is a Jesuit Scholastic in first studies at Arrupe College Jesuit School of Philosophy and Humanities in Harare, Zimbabwe.


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