Readings for Thursday March 31, 2011
First Reading: Jeremiah 7:23-28
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 95
Gospel: Luke 11:14-23
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Lk 11:21-23)
Since our beginning, we have been asked to choose a side. In the garden, the serpent asked Eve to choose a side; trust God or don't trust Him. Unfortunately, we are all aware of what she chose. But Eve was certainly not the only person who was asked to choose between God's will or her own, and she will certainly not be the last. We are all asked to choose in this life. In today's gospel, Jesus tells the people that whoever is not with Him is against Him. He was asking the people, as well as us to choose a side. We can either be with Jesus, going about His work and following His will; or we can be about ourselves, doing what we want and only focusing on our wants.
Since the beginning, we have been given free will. God who is love, does not force anything upon us, it is all for our choosing. This is both the blessing and the curse of free will. A blessing because we are not confined to this world and the destruction in it, and we have the ability to choose a full life on earth with the promise of eternity in paradise with Christ. However it is a curse because it is also very hard. The reality is that there are many challenges and temptations that go along with following Christ. It is a life full of sacrifice, certainly not for the faint of heart. However, if we are willing to persevere and trust in this life, then we will certainly find true love and joy in this lifetime, and even greater things in the next.
We are each called to choose a side in this life, may we each choose the side that leads to eternal life in heaven.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. You are our God, and we are your people. Help us to never forget this. Amen.