REFLECTION FROM THE DESK OF THE PASTOR
In today’s first reading Sirach tells us how we have been given a choice to keep God’s commandments. We are told that we have to choose between fire and water, life and death, good and evil. Our great gift of free will requires the even greater gift of wisdom to use it well. Wisdom, however, can often be gained through learning from our mistakes, and the mistakes of other people. We should be grateful, then, for the times we do fail, because these are precisely the opportunities that will occasion our growth in wisdom in the future. Our free will is always something we can learn to exercise with greater wisdom. God wants us to make best choices. Every time we come to Mass, we acknowledge to ourselves and to each other that we fall short in choosing that best choice when we pray the Penitential Rite together. God forgives us and we are able to start afresh and that’s why we say, “Glory to God in the highest!” because he does indeed have mercy on us. God’s wisdom is often communicated in the language of laws. Our choices should not be done out of obligation but out of love. The greatest act of free will is the choice to love and to be loved. We are truly acting out of freedom. Jesus is inviting us to go beyond the letter of the law. Jesus looks at three areas where we can make the best choice. He takes the existing laws of not killing, not committing adultery and not swearing falsely, and takes them further by going deeper and explaining that the best choice is rather to choose to be peacemakers to be faithful and to always be fruitful.