The first reading from Joshua is one the is dear to my heart. I can remember as a child my father posting this on the front door of our home on Ridgewood Avenue in Warrensville Heights. It was a public witness to whomever came knocking what this house hold was all about. He had made a decision that we as a family would serve the Lord. We all made Life in the Spirit Seminars, we gave our personal testimony and commitment to Christ.
“Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem”. 24:1. The prophet gathers all the people the greatest to the least to address them and to renew the Covenant. They now have a decision to make, who is it that they will serve. He reminds them that the Ancestors of Abraham, his father Terah worshiped false gods. He also reminds them that through Abraham he entered a covenant and took them as His own people.
Today we here a charge to choose, to make a chose who they will serve. Like the people we too must make a choice, that is to opt for Christ. To often today we are caught up in relativism, it is said “oh it doesn’t matter it’s all the same.”. We confuse mutual respect and dialogue with adherence. I can respect my brother or sister with whom i share a common humanity while at the same time holding firm in my Catholic faith. I have had the pleasure of running into young adults who used to attend and participate at St Joseph, whether downtown on an evening out or at the gym. For some reason they’ve chosen not to come home to their church.
In this age unlike any other young people stay away from being decisive, they refuse to make a decision and decide. I cannot imagine what it is like, to not make a decisive decision, to step out and do what needs to be done, while watching peers and friends graduate and embark on the next phase of life. In actuality no decision is also a decision, it’s deciding not to move, not to grow, not to commit. Remain in the rut and stay their.
Like Joshua, I want to propose a question. What will we decide to do as a church? What will choose as a people a faith community? We will seek to remain in our past or can we be creative to chose a bright new future? Can we say like Joshua, who recounted all that God has done, and proclaim “as for me and my house we shall serve the Lord? As my father did for us it sets a tone and direction, that even with our own human deficiencies and limitations we chose Christ. We seek to live for Him and witness His great love.
I am reminded of a young couple who had a little girl, the mother was fighting cancer, the husband willing to opt for anything to save his wife. In the midst of his pain and tears i spoke to him the Gospel of today. As he look at me and ask what can we do. I spoke these words “To whom shall we go, You have the words of everlasting life. In the end when faced with decisions and overwhelming odds we resign ourself to opt for Christ and allow his will and way to reign over us. Accepting the challenges that lie in our path and embracing them because we have an assurance of faith, that no matter how hard the task or daunting the challenge, we are ultimately the Lord’s and there is no where else to turn. Let us choose to allow Christ to lead us even when we’re afraid and confused. To walk away would leave us back in the darkness we knew before. Chose to live for God in his Son our Lord Jesus Christ .