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We are what we choose!

Carrying the cross and follow the Jesus
Background Music: Panalangin by Mark Anthony Cuevas
    Voiced by: Jona Valdez

February 15, Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Memory of Sts. Faustinus and Jovita.
Daily Readings: Deuteronomy 30:15–20, Luke 9:22–25

Life calls us to make many choices. The choices that we make reveal who we are and what we want in life. We believe that our decisions are for our well-being. We do not tend to think about whether our choices affect ‘the other’ positively or negatively. Most of the time, it is not our concern. We need someone to teach us. The Lord God teaches the people of Israel how to make choices in life.

There are two pairs of choices. The first one is life and prosperity, and the other is death and adversity. Every choice that we make implies certain demands and implications. Those of us who choose life will have to love God, obey Him, and hold fast to Him alone. One can also express the same things by observing the commandments, decrees, and ordinances. This will guarantee the longevity of life and possession of the Promised Land. For the Jews, land and life represent supreme blessings. The Lord God promised land and life to Patriarch Abraham. As an excellent guide and teacher, the Lord God teaches them to choose life.

The Lord God instructed the Israelites to choose life and enjoy land, progeny, and longevity. But in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus challenges them to renounce and lose one’s life to save it. This seems to be contradictory. One cannot choose life and also renounce it. One can only choose to renounce it for the sake of the Lord Jesus. That is Jesus’ teaching on the cost of discipleship.

Jesus lives his teaching in the first place, or rather, he leads from the front. Jesus informs the disciples of his forthcoming suffering, rejection by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and his resurrection on the third day. One can rise only after one is willing to die. Those who want to follow Jesus ardently will have to replicate the Master. Following Jesus is a daily affair. One should not hesitate to die.

The Psalmist encourages believers to live as trees planted near running waters, remaining evergreen and always ready to produce. They are to meditate upon the Law of the Lord day and night. They are to continually live in the presence of the Lord!

Holy Mother Church celebrates the memory of Sts. Faustinus (priest) and Jovita (deacon), who were martyrs. These brothers preached the Word of God fearlessly in Italy. They sacrificed their lives during the persecution of Trajan.

Call to Action for Catholic Living: To follow Jesus, one must deny oneself, take up one’s cross, and follow him. What does it mean to deny ‘self’ for me?


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.