October 14, 2018


+  Pax et Bonum!   Peace and goodness to you this day!

You know, for years, I have always thought that what made this country great, was our choices.  We have more choices than any other people in the history of the world, or any other place in the world.  And pretty much my entire life, I have believed that nothing defines our plethora of choices better, than the cereal aisle at the grocery store.   But, guess what?  I’m changing my definition of choices.  It’s not the cereal aisle anymore!   It’s the water aisle!  Have you noticed how many different kinds of water they have now?  You know, it used to be, just a couple of years ago, where the water was sold by the pop or soda, and the iced teas, and maybe even with the juices.  Can’t be, anymore!  There are now so many different kinds of water for sale, that water has to have its own aisle!  Check it out the next time that you’re in our Kroger, down here.  There’s an entire aisle of water.  There’s all kinds of flavored water now.  We used to call that Kool Aid.  There’s carbonated water, fizzy water, or as the Italians like to say, with gas or without gas!  There’s Vitamin water, water that’s better for you than just plain water!  There’s water from France, from Alaska, and from Canada, places where apparently water tastes better.  Haven’t seen any bottled water from Detroit, maybe that’s coming later!  But the choices!  If you’re thirsty today, you can have any kind of water that you want.  Is this a great country or what?

We come to Mass today, and both our first reading, from Wisdom, and our Gospel, are about the choices that we have, as Christians.  Solomon, in our first reading, clearly and rightly chooses God’s gifts of wisdom and prudence, over other gifts that might be tempting to others: power, riches, even health and beauty!  Guided by the spirit of Wisdom, Solomon sees beyond the brief pleasure of the things of this life, to perceive the beauty of God’s wisdom, a wisdom that lasts forever.   And a wisdom, that is hidden from many, because they are blinded by the values and attractions of this world!

Our Gospel then picks up on those worldly choices that you and I have to make every day, with the story of the rich, young man.   The rich young man has all the right answers.  He knows what he needs to do.  He knows the choice he needs to make.  And yet, the cost is too much for him.  He is not yet ready to give up his things, his comfort, and his wealth.   We know how the rich young man feels.  Life is pretty good in the world that we live in!  It’s good to be warm, and well-fed, and to have clean clothes, and a place to live, and a car to drive.  We have blessing galore in the world right now.   It is so hard to even imagine giving up those blessings, even for wisdom and blessings that last forever.

But then the Gospel concludes with the example of the Apostles.  The Apostles did give up everything to follow Jesus.  They left home, and family, and friends, and things, all they had, to follow Jesus.  They took a big risk.  They left all that was comfortable to them to follow Jesus.  And God promises them that they will be rewarded and taken care of, for answering God’s call and choosing God’s way.

God continues to call people to a new and different life, a life that is out of this world, and that lasts forever.  The key, of course, is to listen prayerfully for Jesus’ call in life, and to follow Him in that call.   It might be as a priest, or as a brother or sister religious, or as a deacon, or as a teacher, or a doctor, or a husband or wife, or as a coach, or a youth minister.  The possibilities are endless!  But mark my words, if you have a beating heart within you, God still has a plan for you, and you are being called to love and serve Him in some way!

Really, every day each one of us is called, and offered choices.  We have countless choices to choose Christ and God’s ways.  Whether that be how we respond to a particular situation, or what kind of book we are going to read, to what kind of attitude we are going to have, to how we are going to spend our time and our money, we have a lot of choices.  And not just about what kind of what we are going to drink!

God allows us to choose, every day, the path that we will follow. Let our prayer today be that we may we allow the Holy Spirit, God’s wisdom, to guide us in our choices, so that we will always choose God’s ways, and not just the comforts and riches of this world.

+   May God bless us today,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                                    AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…     Pray for us !!!