Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Deuteronomy 30,15-20

'Look, today I am offering you life and prosperity, death and disaster. If you obey the commandments of Yahweh your God, which I am laying down for you today, if you love Yahweh your God and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws and his customs, you will live and grow numerous, and Yahweh your God will bless you in the country which you are about to enter and make your own. But if your heart turns away, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshipping other gods and serving them, I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live for long in the country which you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. Today, I call heaven and earth to witness against you: I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of Yahweh your God, obeying his voice, holding fast to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends the length of time that you stay in the country which Yahweh swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that he would give them.'

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

In this passage, which concludes the long speech Moses made to the people in the name of the Lord, the book of Deuteronomy reminds the reader of the responsibility that the people have to choose the Lord, "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity" (Deut 30:15). The choice between the two ways is not without consequences. It is a responsibility, which impacts the quality of the existence of the entire people, not just each individual. Choosing prosperity and life means continuing to be blessed and protected. Choosing evil means giving oneself over to unhappiness and death. This is why Moses continues, "Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him." The choice to love the Lord means to listen faithfully to his Word, "walking in his ways" and "holding fast to him." This is the source of God's blessing on His people and their future. Communion with the Lord and listening to his Word make life human and beautiful and they are great wisdom for the world. This message will be embraced and brought to fulfilment by Jesus. His disciples are those who listen to the Word and put it in practice, every day. Being disciples and loving the Lord is a choice that needs to be renewed every day, especially in this season of Lent, an opportune time for conversion, which helps us take our eyes off ourselves and look towards the Lord. Then we will follow him through the coming days and accompany him during the holy days of his passion, death, and resurrection.