Both of our Readings for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday deal with making “choices.” The First reading from the end of the Book of Deuteronomy has Moses placing before the people the choice of obeying the Covenant Code or not. He says that they should choose “life’ over “death” and keep the provisions of the Law. This section of Torah was probably read every year at a time when the people renewed their comittment to the Covenant. (We do much the same after Lent, we renew our baptismal promises on Easter.) The Gospel lays out the fact that we can choose to lose our lives for Christ and thereby save it.
Life can be seen as a series of choices we make: some good and some bad. Will we choose Christ or not?