In today’s first Mass reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses tells the people of Israel:
Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.
And what does it mean to choose life? Moses explains:
Choose life…by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him….by loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments.
We are constantly faced with the same choice as were the Israelites. Each moment is a moment in which we choose life or death, blessing or curse. Each thought, each word, each deed moves us toward God or away from God, toward life or toward death, toward blessing or toward curse, toward wisdom or toward ignorance. Life for us comes from choosing the path of love, from choosing God.
Choose well. It sounds so simple. But we don’t always choose God. Like Paul, it seems like sometimes “I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate.”
And each time we do, God is right there, helping us to get up and dust ourselves off, offering us another opportunity…and another…and another.
Isn’t is grand that God is so patient with us?