will we choose to lose?
“If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”—Matthew 19:17
The Lord, in His wisdom, permits us to experience the consequences of our choices and some of the wages of our sins (Rm 6:23). He knows that we have the possibility of learning life-lessons from our choices, both good and bad.
The Israelites chose to reject God, and He permitted them to be overrun and dominated by their enemies (Jgs 2:14ff). Amidst the pain of these adverse consequences, they cried to the Lord, Who had mercy on them and sent strong leaders to deliver them (Jgs 2:18). Yet they did not persist in keeping the commandments and repeatedly slipped back into idolatry (Jgs 2:19).
The rich young man in today’s Gospel passage had been making good choices until he encountered Jesus. When he heard Jesus’ answer to his question, this man could not choose Jesus’ way. As a consequence, his “face fell” (in the literal Greek of Mt 19:22) and he sadly left Jesus.
Choosing against the Lord does not bring fulfillment; in so doing, we choose against all we have been created to be. In His mercy, God can work all things together for the good for those who love Him (Rm 8:28). But do we love Him if we do not obey His commands? (see Jn 14:23-24; 15:10)
In the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).
Prayer: Jesus, hold me tight until I trust fully in Your love. With Your consuming love, melt my fear of losing my life (Lk 9:24; Heb 2:15).
Promise: “Come back and follow Me.” —Mt 19:21
Praise: Pope St. Pius X promoted holiness by encouraging frequent reception of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period August 1, 2023 through September 30, 2023. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 4, 2023
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