Reflection for Friday, October 20, 2000: 28th week in Ordinary Time.

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Whitney, Tamora
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In today's society, choosing God is not a given. In some times in the past, Religion surrounded you like air, and practicing your religion was as natural, and usually as thoughtless, as breathing. Today Religion is a choice. There are many temptations to take people away from God and from religion. Sunday is no longer a universal day of rest. People work all hours and every day. Many say the moral fiber of the country is in decay, and often it seems easier to sleep in on Sundays than to go to Mass, or to spend all our money on 'toys' than to support the church or to donate to charity. It's not even a given that people raised in a religion will continue their heritage. Staying connected to religion becomes a choice. Many people don't share the same religion as their parents. I don't. My parents are Protestant, but I'm Catholic; I converted when I was in college. I chose this religion, and chose to make a commitment to the church.|Every time we go to church, or donate to charity, or wonder "what would Jesus do" we are making a conscious choice to practice our faith: to put the tenets of the religion into action. It's not like the Middle Ages when faith, or at least adherence to the rules of the church, was required and in fact legislated. Today we truly can choose what religion we profess, how we deal with our faith, and how that is shown in practice. Most people who live their faith are aware that they are making this choice, and that it's a choice that takes some personal sacrifice.|But what we don't always remember that while we are making that decision to choose God, God already, long ago, made a decision to choose us. We were chosen long ago, or we wouldn't be in the position to make the decision to choose God. He had to choose us first. From the first reading today, "In him you too were chosen; when you heard the glad tidings of salvation, the word of truth, and believed in it, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit who had been promised." The psalm and the gospel speak in similar terms. From the psalm, "Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own." And those people who have been chosen, then choose to sing the praises of God. Then Jesus tells his friends that God even watches over the little sparrows, who don't seem to be worth much. How much more will God watch over the people He has chosen. Because we were chosen by God, we are able to choose to turn away from the sin and temptation that surrounds us, and choose God and His ways.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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