In our first reading today from Deuteronomy, Moses tells the people what they must do in order to enter the promised land. Obey the commandments of the Lord, love Him, walk in his ways. “Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.” In the Gospel reading from Luke 9, Jesus said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Interesingly, only Luke has the word “daily.” This carrying your cross thing is not a part-time gig!
Choose life. Today that is a phrase that has really been adopted by the pro-life community. We see it on license plates, posters, bumper stickers. And that is a very good thing. Because life is so much about the choices we make. In fact, every minute of every day, we are making choices. We choose whether we want to get up and go to work in the morning. If we choose not to, we could easily lose our job. We choose what we will put in our mouths every day. If we choose too many bad things, we gain weight. Because choices have consequences.
Did you know that you get to choose your eternal destiny? You do! In fact, you are choosing that right now. Every minute of every day. We can choose to obey God (life) or we can choose to turn our backs on Him (death). The choice is ours. You see, God doesn’t send anyone to hell. We are the ones who make that decision. Think of it this way - when you choose your eternal destiny, will it be smoking or non-smoking?
Father, we thank you for the gift of our free will. You know that too often we exercise bad judgement with our choices. Give us the grace today to choose life, that we may live forever in your care. Amen.
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