The Gift of Free Will

Reading 1 Rv 5:1-10

Responsorial Psalm Ps 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a And 9b

Gospel Lk 19:41-44

The focus of today’s Gospel reading is on the gift of free will, which God has given us. It allows us to choose how we spend our life on earth and in eternity. We see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. He knows the destruction that will come to the city because its people will choose their own greed and pride over the message of salvation which he has come to deliver. Their lack of faith will mean devastation, but Jesus cannot stop it. He must allow them to make the choice and then, live with the consequences.

These are harsh lessons. Yet they relate to many of the choices we must make every day in our own lives. We may not be asked to defy the government, but we may be challenged to defy popular culture or our friends or our boss in order to follow what God has commanded. How
closely do we count the loss when we need to make such a choice? How well do we identify the consequences, in terms of our eternal life, when deciding what is important to us?

Some people turn against God when God does not intervene to solve their problems or grant their desires or when the correct choice carries with it a serious consequence which is not to their liking. We may read the story of the persecution and death of Jesus and say that we would have
been loyal to him to the end. Look back at the choices you have made in the past and see if any of them compromised God’s mission for the sake of social acceptance or to keep peace in your family or to satisfy a personal hunger of yours. God is a loving God, but he is not an easy God. He requires obedience and loyalty and gives us free will to obey or not to obey. The consequence then becomes our own doing.

Thanks be to God that our God is not a vengeful God. In Jesus Christ we have a Savior who weeps over our misfortunes and whose blood, given on the cross, purchases each and every one of us for God on the condition that we acknowledge our sinfulness and return to his loving embrace.

  • Laura

    Thank you. I really needed to hear this today, even if it wasn’t a happy subject on an otherwise happy Thanksgiving day.

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