Pastor’s Corner 2/12/2017

This Sunday I would like to offer you the thoughts and reflections of another Fr. Richard:  Fr. Richard Gribble, CSC.  Our theme for this 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time is: “See As God Sees — Choose the Things of Heaven over the Things of Earth.” Msgr. Richard

Our readings today describe free will and how God challenges us to use it properly in seeking the higher realms in our life. The reading from Sirach proclaims that God has given us free will, the ability to think and the freedom to choose. We have the ability to choose water or fire, life or death, to sin or to do right, and to seek and choose God or not.

Jesus provides several examples of how human law is insufficient. Human law says that we should not kill, but Jesus goes further when he says that anger in your heart is just as bad. Human law says that adultery is wrong. But again Jesus says that we must show mutual respect for each other, and we must not even use one another for our own advantage.

In a related way, St. Paul tells us that the higher realm of God must be our goal. He says that if we can choose the “deep things which the Spirit scrutinizes,” then our reward will be beyond our conception. “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard… what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9).

Decisions are part of everyday life. Some decisions are small and relatively insignificant, but others are quite important, such as the possibility of changing jobs, the purchase of a car or home, or where to attend college. How do we make these decisions that are so integral to our life? At work, do we go with the flow and possibly use practices that hurt others or may be unethical? Or do we choose the higher order and do things in a way that is fair to all because we have been challenged by God to do so? At home, do we do the minimal, only what is necessary to keep the house going? Or do we choose the higher order, making a special effort at hospitality, friendliness, and those little extras that make a difference to family and friends? At church, do we obey the letter of the law, go to Mass, obey the commandments, and feel that is sufficient? Or do we choose a higher order, going beyond the law to find broader aspects of our faith and our relationship with God?

Our complicated world calls us to make decisions; they are part of life. Often decisions boil down to a choice between the human and God. Let us today reflect on the decisions and choices we make and choose the higher order. If we can, then certainly as St. Paul suggests we will be led to a hidden wisdom and beauty that we can today only imagine.

—Richard Gribble, CSC

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