For the next several days' reflections, I will choose one of the daily Mass readings. We have a reading from the Old Testament (usually--sometimes a New Testament reading), a Psalm, and a reading from one of the Gospels every day.
Today's Old Testament reading is from Deuteronomy 30:15-20:
"Moses said to the people:
'Today I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.
If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin on you today,
loving him, and walking in his ways,
and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,
you will live and grow numerous,
and the LORD, your God,
will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.
If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen,
but are led astray and adore and serve other gods,
I tell you now that you will certainly perish;
you will not have a long life
on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.' ”
The key phrases/words:
The choice set before them mirrors the choice given to Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis: the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve had the same options Moses is giving to the Israelites in Deuteronomy. If they chose one tree, they would continue to walk in communion with God. If they chose the other tree, they would know God's judgment.
The consequences of their actions seem a bit unfair to us. After all, why should it matter if one chooses to eat from a certain tree? What is the problem with walking in our own ways?
The answer is love.
Though that may appear a bit simplistic, think it through. The God who made the universe, and who knows the beginning from the end, asks for us to love and obey Him. He gives us the option of choosing. But the beautiful thing we see here is that He tells us the outcome of each decision. He gives us the 4-1-1, the "heads up," the insider information...it's very clear.
Join me in choosing life. I vote for life, prosperity, and blessing over death, doom, and curse!