Thought of the Day February 26 2024 The New self

By 10:11 AM

"Jesus’ command, “Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate,” is a command to participate in the compassion of God himself. He requires us to unmask the illusion of our competitive selfhood, to give up clinging to our imaginary distinctions as sources of identity, and to be taken up into the same intimacy with God which he himself knows. This is the mystery of the Christian life: to receive a new self, a new identity, which depends not on what we can achieve, but on what we are willing to receive. This new self is our participation in the divine life in and through Christ. Jesus wants us to belong to God as he belongs to God; he wants us to be children of God as he is a child of God; he wants us to let go of the old life, which is so full of fears and doubts, and to receive the new life, the life of God himself. In and through Christ we receive a new identity that enables us to say, “I am not the esteem I can collect through competition, but the love I have freely received from God.” It allows us to say with Paul, “I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) Henri Nouwen

Dying to the old self and rising with a new self is one of the goals of Lent. That is the image of the seed falling into the ground, dying and producing something new. That is the image of the pruning of the vine. The old barren branches are cut off, so that new growth can occur. What is in you that is the old self, the self of sin and unrepentance? Is what you are doing for Lent addressing the roots of the old self? By the grace of God, what new life is beginning to bud forth in you? Are you more compassionate, more forgiving, more considerate, more loving, more patience, more other-centered? Pray for the grace to die to the old and to rise with a new self image, one in harmony with Christ.

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