Sunday, August 26, 2012

Looking ahead

By Father Perry D. Leiker

We all have choices. We can choose to do the good, or to do the bad. We can even choose the attitudes we will have.

In today's first, reading Joshua tell the people: "If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide whom you will serve."

In the Gospel, Jesus' words were too much and many "returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him." Jesus finally asked his twelve: "Do you also want to leave?"

We all have choices. But our choice is not simply to believe in Jesus or to be baptized as his disciples a kind of once-and-for-all choice. We have choices every day and all throughout the day. We choose to follow with more commitment. We choose to listen more deeply. We choose to reflect Christ in our words and actions as real witnesses. We choose to imitate Christ to live as he lived. We choose to not simply come to church but to make our lives a pilgrimage of ongoing and continual conversion. We choose this year to be more a disciple than we were last year always choosing deeper, more, greater.

If we understand and actually discover our faith growing, we will find that in this moment or that, often quite spontaneously, we can speak the words of Peter:  "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." Then, too, we will discover that the words of Jesus, his actions, his teachings, his example of living, his everything including Eucharistic presence give real, deep, inner life that is more than mortal and material. It is an inner spiritual reality that extends beyond and permeates everything. To find and to have this life is our choice, too!

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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