Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish

Browsing Community Insights

Fr. Michael's Thoughts on Biblical Imagery: The Choices We Make


(Fr Michael Boakye Yeboah: Vice Rector of St Gregory Seminary, Kumasi-Ghana)


            I believe strongly that one’s life’s summary can be linked with his or her life’s choices. As we are what we eat so can we be as a result of the choices we have made throughout life. One of the precious gifts God gifted Adam and Eve and their offspring was (is) the gift of Free Will. God has given us the free will to make our choices. He does not force himself on us neither does he glue us to worship and serve him by force. I make this assertion because of the readings given to us for our Sunday reflection and meditation.

            Joshua was assigned the leadership office of the house of Israel but the house was full of very difficult and stubborn people. The people gave Moses “hell” to the extent that God himself wanted to disown them and make a new people from the descendants of Moses. I would like to believe that during the reign of Joshua, he felt he had had enough of the people’s unfaithfulness to God and so the inspired writer tells us that he called the Jewish hierarchy for a meeting. The first reading tells how, at the assembly held at Shechem, Joshua confronted the entire nation of Israel with the necessity of deciding whether or not they were willing to serve Yahweh firmly and finally. He introduces other gods they might worship, but announces that he and his household will be faithful to Yahweh. This bold statement from Joshua is the family creed of some families I know. There are some people that their grandfathers and mothers assisted the missionaries to sow the seed of Christianity in some villages and today those villages have turned into dioceses. Children of these families have kept the family Christian heritage and we are proud of them. The Joshua-like families are worthy of emulation.

            But this is not the full account of Joshua’s speech on that day at Shechem. In his speech that day Joshua gave a warning to the people against deciding lightheartedly, to his warning that God will punish those who stray (this section is omitted from the pericope). We should be aware of this warning and make a good decision. It is very sad that when it comes to making decisions to follow God or gods, some people have chosen the latter. These are not ordinary folks but some are learned men and women; men and women who are gifted with the power to reason right. Some people today, in their quest for family protection, promotion at work, good health, wealth, power to control and other worldly cravings have placed themselves under satanic and occultic powers. Isn’t it sad to hear the allegation that some men of God are part of this league – what a shame. The choices we make…Hmmm!

            A similar incident to that of the Shechem convocation is reported to us by St. John. Jesus confronted his listeners, including his disciples, with an even more merciless decision, in the light of his promise of the Eucharist. Because he refuses to back away in the slightest from his statements about the Eucharist, these words seem so “intolerable” to his listeners that they are faced with the toughest test of all. Jesus did not give room for neutrality, either you stay or you go. The inspired writer tells us that many left but turning to the rest he inquired whether they will also leave. As spokesman for the small group of faithful ones, St Peter gives a voice to the word of faith… “to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”. This is truly heartwarming. Indeed, one can realise that faith had brought St Peter to a realization, and that realization made possible that virtually blind faith needed for such a decision. At times one need to close his/her eyes and say, God I don’t know and I don’t have solutions, just take control and do with me as you please. Please no matter the situation in life, you will never regret choosing Jesus.


There are no comments yet - be the first one to comment:



RSS Feed


Access all blogs

Subscribe to all of our blogs