Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28
17th Week in Ordinary Time
Then the righteous will shine like the sun. (Matthew 13:43)
Commenting on the gift of free will, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once wrote, “The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become.” We all have a choice in how we live this life. Even if we are facing very difficult circumstances, we can choose how we react to them. So ultimately, it’s up to us whether we are happy or unhappy in this life.
As today’s reading shows, our eternal state is also a matter of our choice. Here we see the fate of those who have decided to reject God: “wailing and grinding of teeth” (Matthew 13:42). But God didn’t just throw them like weeds into the fire—they chose not to receive his mercy. They used their free will, but in the wrong way. God kept loving them, but they had to accept that love.
Those of us reading this have already given our lives to the Lord. But we still have a choice. That’s the beauty of free will. We can do much more than stay out of the weeds. We can become wheat that brings in a great harvest for the Lord. As we cooperate with God’s grace, moment by moment, day by day, we can make the choices that will turn us into saints. Every one of us carries the light of Christ in our hearts, but it’s up to us to decide how brightly we will let it shine!
The best choice you can make today—and the one that helps you the most to be that bright light—is to spend time with your heavenly Father. Let him love you, let him teach you, and let him form you. Tell him how much you love him and how much you need him. Ask for his wisdom and grace for every situation that comes your way. Call on him to dispel any darkness, doubt, or fear that tries to trip you up and keep you from doing your best. Let his light shine through you, and you’ll certainly bear fruit for his kingdom!
“Thank you, Lord, for loving me so completely! May all my choices be inspired by your Holy Spirit, and may they all bring glory to your name.”~WAU