So this is somewhat of a typical morning in my house. . .
The alarm goes off: do I get up or hit the snooze for a few more minutes of sleep?
Do I pray: “Thank you, God, for another day” or “oh my God, it’s another day?”
Do I make the bed – or leave it be?
Do I feed the cat 1st, or get something to drink?
If Coffee: then macadamia nut, vanilla crème, or peppermint bark?
If tea: then mint medley, lemon ginger, or peach?
Do I eat cold cereal: then rice crispees, golden grahams, or honey bunches of oats?
Or oatmeal: then maple and brown sugar or raisin, date, and walnut?
Do I walk outside or use the treadmill?
Do I shower then shave or shave then shower?
And then what should I wear today – and all the decisions that go with that.
Do I pray by the book or pray by the AP?
In the bedroom or in the living room?
With the cat on my lap or off my lap?
AND FINALLY? Do I have everything I need for the day before I leave?
So even before I leave the house – and certainly before you leave yours – a good 20-25 choices or more have been made. . . It reminds me of the old joke – yes, Fr. Healy thinks there should always be a joke: a man prays to God: thank you Lord, for I’m having a pretty good day. Everything seems to be going well. I haven’t lost my temper or gotten mad. So please be with me – for I’m going to get out of bed now!!
All of these choices, all of these conscious and unconscious decisions about the trivial and the important – -will continue throughout the day – perhaps at even a faster pace than before we leave the house.
And all of them pale in comparison to the overall decision that should guide our lives as a Christian every time we do step out the door: Are we going to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength – or are we just going to stick our toe in the water instead of diving in – do and say enough to make ourselves feel good – rather than trying our best to honor God but what we say and do??
And are we going to love our neighbor as ourselves: or choose instead to be selfish, rude, and obnoxious to those around us??
These are definitely choices we make (for as Deacon Jim reminded us last) for we do have free will . . . So what’s our choice going to be??
Are we going to hear the words of Jesus – and nobody says they are easy ones to hear – they are challenging as all get-out – are we going to hear Jesus’ and walk away – as the rich young man did several weeks ago —– or are we going to be like Bartimaeus – knowing that we need help with being the people God calls us to be – and cry out: Son of David, have pity on us???
Yes, coming to Mass recharges our batteries – gives us the strength, the courage, and grace we need to be faithful to our calling.
And if we really take what happens here to heart: and not just go through the motions — if we truly believe that God loves us,
and everything we have is a gift from God — then life takes on a whole new meaning: and so every time we do walk out the door, everyone should know we are the presence of Christ to them—by the way we talk, the way we act, the values we hold and live by, the use of our talents, how we spend our time, and spend our money — all indicators of the joy we have in our hearts because we have been touched by the Amazing Grace of God. People will know we are disciples of Jesus Christ – for we have been transformed by the incredible good news of the Gospel.
As Moses told his people – so I tell my people, my parishioners, the souls I am entrusted to care for: “Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.”