Wednesday 22 March 2023 – Choose life over death

4th Week of Lent

1st Reading: Is 49:8-15

Thus says the Lord: In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you; and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, To restore the land and allot the desolate heritages, Saying to the prisoners: Come out! To those in darkness: Show yourselves! Along the ways they shall find pasture, on every bare height shall their pastures be. They shall not hunger or thirst, nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them; For he who pities them leads them and guides them beside springs of water. I will cut a road through all my mountains, and make my highways level. See, some shall come from afar, others from the north and the west, and some from the land of Syene. Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth, break forth into song, you mountains. For the Lord comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget,  I will never forget you.

Gospel Jn 5:17-30

Jesus answered the Jews: “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”  For this reason they tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God. Jesus answered and said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for what he does, the Son will do also. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation. “I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” 

Choose life over death: By hearing the Word of Jesus and believing in the One who sent him, one passes from death to life. Physical death becomes a mere transition. However, one is spiritually dead when one stops trying – not believing in the forgiveness of one’s sins nor believing that virtue is attainable. But unfortunately, in the world, we are either progressing or retrogressing. Retrogressing comes when one stops feeling and has a total apathy and insensitivity to sin, sorrow and suffering. For such, compassion is dead in the person.  One is spiritually dead when one stops thinking. The mind is no longer persuaded to accept new truths and as such is incapable of learning anything further. One is spiritually dead when one stops repenting. Sin becomes imperceptible as it becomes like drinking a cup of water. During Lent let us ask for God’s favor as we prepare for salvation and for eternity.

PRAYER: Lord, help us always choose life with you now and forever! Amen!


Need of a personal Resurgence: Jesus confronts they that are spiritually dead. In the steps of His Father, in the First Reading, he brings in the message of salvation. This is the Good News. What makes us spiritually dead? When we think we have enough, and thinks that we know all the truths, we lack the humility to learn from God. This brings the sin of pride in us. And w ebecome insensitive to the needs of others. Let us listen to the words of Jesus, “I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me”. Let us give ourselves to the will of our Father who means good to us. Let us in humility commend ourselves to his promptings. Let his spirit run through us illuminating the inner regions of our soul. Only then shall we be close to him and do his will.