‘choose life’: Thursday after Ash Wednesday

A funny thing happened after the 97th time (or something like that) I read Deuteronomy 30. It is the first reading for Mass today. The Mass readings are at Universalis, and my reflections are at thinking coram Deo.

3 thoughts on “‘choose life’: Thursday after Ash Wednesday

  1. An interesting juxtaposition of readings, giving occasion to reflection on the concept of imitatio Christi, which is for me somewhat enigmatic, for Christ says “learn from me” (Mt 11:29), not “imitate me,” and He asks us to carry our crosses, not His (Mt 16:24), although Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry Christ’s (Mt 27:32). God bless!


  2. I do wonder, now you say it, about the origins of our concept of imitatio Christi. The one Jesus says we should imitate is God: ‘be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect’. The connection must be bound up with Christ being the image of the invisible God, and the notion of discipleship, but that still doesn’t answer the question! Much to ponder; thanks for your comment!


    • Indeed, the meaning of “perfect” in Mt 5:48 is often construed to imply moral excellence. But, God alone is morally perfect, ie. without sin. How then can a sinner be “perfect”? The original Greek of v.48 reads teleios, which indicates the completion of a process. Accordingly, St Jerome translated teleios into the Latin perfecti in his Vulgate. The verb perfecere means “to complete, finish, bring about, accomplish.” Thus, when Christ asks us to be “perfect” like God the Father, perhaps He is asking us to be inclusive like the Father by accepting each and every human person as a child of God, and, therefore, as a brother or sister. I hear Christ building up to this conclusion in vv. 43-47, where He exhorts us to extend our sentiments of goodwill beyond our circle of friends and family. Additionally, it is one of the points He makes in the story of the Good Samaritan, which answers the question “Who is my neighbor?” God bless!


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