I awoke around 8:15 this morning and thought if I got moving, I could make it to 9:15 mass on this World Day of the Sick. I arrived late due to being stuck behind a snow plough for a bit. The priest was just wrapping up his homily. What I did hear struck a chord. The Readings today were some of my favourites–Deuteronomy 30 and Psalm 1. The priest linked these to the Gospel in a way that spoke to where I am as I begin Lent. Before us is the invitation to choose life which leads to Life, but not before we walk the road to Calvary. I am aware that last Ash Wednesday I was walking to Calvary, the diagnosis heavy as my cross. This Lent, I now have a prognosis and again, I walk towards Calvary, cross weighing on me and those I love. My eyes are now on Life.
I choose life. I choose Life. I do not choose Death. Death has no victory over me. I have said before that this is not a battle that I will lose. This is a win-win for me. I have been reflecting that without the procedure and surgery that I had last year I may have already been gone by now. Each day that I have now is a bonus–a beautiful gift. I am very grateful for that awareness. It has not yet propelled me into action. I am still pretty much living in the moment, without any plans. Today I saw my family doctor and she did do a bit of a physical exam. I am good to travel, knowing some of the risks involved. My eyes are not on death. My eyes are on my Beloved and the Life that is promised me. My mind turns towards life here and the glory that Psalm 1 reveals. I am going to take my delight in the Lord and yield my fruit in due season. I am going to bear fruit and blossom.
I will pick up the cross that I have been given and follow in the footsteps of my Saviour. Jesus underwent great suffering and was raised on the third day. He will be with me as I walk towards Calvary this Lent and for my remaining days on this earth. No one knows but God how long that will be but I am choosing life so that I may have Life.
At the end of mass, an older gentleman I know came up to me. Sue, is it true? I nodded, tears falling. I tried to explain that most days I am fine but that the homily had sparked some emotions regarding the reality for my situation. I think he understood me. Many rumours and stories will fly around about how I am doing both physically and emotionally. They will add some weight to the cross. Some Simeons will help me to carry my load. I hope that my roots will dig deep and weather the storms that will come in this regard. I pray that however I am, that people will know that spiritually I am in very good hands, God’s.
What is the cross you are carrying during Lent?
How are you approaching Calvary?
I choose life, dear God, now and always. I choose Life. I choose to delight in You, as a tree planted by streams of living waters. I will take up the cross and follow you every day as we walk towards Calvary. Beyond Calvary is Life. Lead on! Amen.