Today's readings deal with life. In the first reading, Moses exhorts the Hebrew people to choose life, which means "loving the LORD your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him." Yet in the Gospel, Christ tells us that, in order to choose life, we must lose life, taking up our cross daily. This paradox only makes sense when we realize what life in Christ truly means. The promise and reward of eternal life comes at a cost. Yet the reward greatly outweighs this cost. So we choose life in Christ by choosing to die to ourselves--letting go of our selfish passions, our desires, and our fears. Only then are we truly free to live.