|By Fr. Brendan McGuire
Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, San Jose and Vicar General for special projects, Diocese of San Jose. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Too Many Choices
Some time ago, I received some Starbucks gift cards. I don’t go to Starbucks very often but while on vacation I went into Starbucks for coffee. It was one of those rare occasions when there was no line. I went straight to the counter. She asked, “What would you like?” I looked at the menu and there was a plethora of choices. She said, “A Frappuccino or a Cappuccino. A latte or a frappe?” I said, “Give me a second. I don’t know.”
I eventually responded, “I’ll take a latte.” She retorted all too fast, “Do you want regular milk? Skim milk? Almond milk? Soy milk?” “Yikes! Eh! Ordinary milk!” She continued, “Where would you like the coffee from?” I smiled as I said, “I don’t know from your beans, I hope!” She pushed for an answer, “Beans from Kenya, Columba or fair trade?”
I gave up, “I’ll just have a cup of tea.” Obviously frustrated she snapped, “Which type of tea?” “Ahhhh, just stop.” I cried, “I just want a cup of tea…. stop …. just give me an ordinary cup of coffee. And whatever you just poured that guy!” Pointing to the guy at the counter grinning ear to ear amused by amateur at the counter!
Our modern society of the USA is imbued with choices everywhere we go. If we go to the grocery store, we have tons of choices: fruit, vegetables, canned goods, etc. We have more choices than ever before.
There are some choices and some decisions that are insignificant such as coffee in the morning but there are others that are very important and even critical. They can matter a great deal because they give us a trajectory as to the way our life goes. When we become Christian and we remain Christian, it is a choice. And choices are what these scriptures are all about today.
What does it mean to choose Christ? And what does it mean for us in our own daily life? Christ gave us one commandment. Love God with all your heart; all your mind; all your soul and love your neighbor as yourself.
How well are we doing? Was I my best self this week? If we are honest, we are going to say no, not always. Sometimes we were not our best selves.
That is the reason we come to this Sunday table; we need each other and we need Christ to help us. When we receive Christ, the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ, we are saying yes once more. Not that we have it all right, but we are going to work at it today and this is what we are going to do. We are going to be our best self today and this week. There will be some tough decisions in this next week when we should be nice to somebody who is not nice to us back. We will have to love somebody who is not willing to be loving back to us. That is choosing Christ.