Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 17:5-8; Psalm 1:1-4, 6; 1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20; Luke 6:23ab
St. Irenaeus wrote, “Man is rational, therefore like God, he is created with free will and is master over his acts.” These words assure us that our choices in life fall within our sphere of accountability; thus we are responsible for our choices, and sometime, we choose foolishly. The readings of this Sunday put before us the results of poor selections.
In our first reading, Jeremiah warns us about putting our trust in the wrong place. If we trust in humans and turn our hearts away from the Lord, we dry up our souls. Remember, if a branch breaks away from the life-giving trunk, that branch shrivels up, so will we, if we misplace our trust. Free will requires careful discernment regarding the choices we make. The heart that trusts in the Lord prospers. Even in times of distress, in times when the soul is dry, the Lord remains present and aware of our needs.
The Responsorial Psalm reinforces the importance of carefully choosing our way. If we hope and trust in the Lord, we shall be blessed. Again the image of a tree appears, and this tree will produce good fruit; its leaves will remain strong, and graces will be scattered about. Those who make poor choices will suffer unwanted consequences of these decisions.
Our second reading is from St. Paul’s to the Corinthians, and in this, Paul instructs his listeners (and us) to put their trust and their hopes in the teachings of Christ and His resurrection. If there is no eternal life; there is no need to trust, and how empty life would be. Remember the song which asked, “Is that all there is?” People of faith and trust believe this is NOT all there is. We have been promised eternal life; Christ is already there, and He’s waiting for us.
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus addresses a crowd among whom are His newly chosen Twelve, and to this assembly, Jesus outlines the path to eternal life and an eternity with Him. So much depends upon the choices we make, and being willing to change course if we realize we’re headed in the wrong direction. Sometimes it’s difficult to walk in faith, but it is certainly worth the effort.
Robert Frost, in his poem, “The Road Not Taken” ends with these words which surely supply food for the journey:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that made all the difference.”
Sister Miriam Catherine Nevins, O.P.