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What Will You Choose? A Reflection for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 10, 2017
What Will You Choose?
A Reflection for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Micala Smith
February 12, 2017: Sirach 15:15-20; Psalm 119:1-2,4-5,17-18,33-34; I Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37
Our days are full of choices. From the moment we wake up and decide what clothes we will wear or what we will eat for breakfast, to decisions made throughout the day such as how we spend our free time, or how we interact with others, we are constantly making choices. Decision making is an inevitable part of life, and often times we can get so caught up in life’s everyday decisions that we forget how they may affect the “big picture.” When we’re making our morning coffee do we think about inviting God into each day? When we encounter someone in need, do we consider how our interactions with others are a way in which we encounter Christ? Do we think about what it means to live out God’s commandments in the hustle and bustle of everyday life?
This week’s first reading begins, “If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live” (Sirach 15: 15). Read that first part again, “If you choose… .” It is remarkable that we have the ability to choose. God, in His omnipotence, knows exactly what is best for us; He knows that our true and genuine happiness is found in living out His commandments. But our God is not a tyrant, and He does not command something and then force us to do it. God gives us a choice; He has given humankind free will.
It is through our free will that we have the opportunity to choose. Though we may sometimes falter in our weakened human state and may choose sin and evil over goodness and virtue, free will also provides us with a very special opportunity. When we choose to live out God’s commandments, we are choosing love and are indeed showing our love and commitment to God. If we did not have a choice and God simply had us live out His commandments, we would not really be choosing to love and serve God through our own volition. This requires immense trust, both on our part and from God. God loves us so much that He has given us free will, and though He knows that there are times we will turn away from Him and fail to uphold His commandments, He wants to give us the chance to choose love. Thus, when we choose to walk in the way of the Lord, to seek Him with all our hearts, to keep His words and statutes (as the Responsorial Psalm encourages us to do!), we are living a life of true love, of sincere service to the Lord.
The Gospel continues this message, as Christ challenges us to live the commandments more fully. He encourages us to use our free will not only to avoid sin, but to enter more fully into a life of grace. And again, Christ does this out of immense love for us! Dear friends, let us try this week to be more aware of the choices we make. May we ask God for the grace to illuminate our lives, that His light may help us see more clearly how we are choosing to follow His way and in what ways we may be failing to do so. Let us trust in God more fully, Who has entrusted us with the ability to choose, that through our decisions we may seek God with all of our hearts!
Micala participated in Catholics on Call in 2014. She is a recent graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA with a degree in Religious Studies. She is pursuing a career in medicine and is interested in women’s health and pediatrics.