Making Choices

08-14-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

A man named Peter inherited a huge land grant, but the will provided that he could choose land in either Chile or Brazil. He chose Brazil. Unhappily, if he had chosen Chile, he would have received his inheritance in land on which they had recently discovered uranium, gold and silver. But he chose Brazil. When he arrived in Brazil he had to choose between receiving his inheritance in a coffee plantation or land with Brazil nut trees. He chose the nut trees, and immediately the bottom fell out of the nut market, but coffee futures went up two dollars a pound. The government took control of the nut farm for back taxes, and Peter was left destitute.

Peter pawned his Rolex watch for the money he needed to fly either to New York or Boston. He chose Boston. When the plane for New York taxied up, he noticed it was a brand new super 777 with red carpets. After several hours delay, the plane for Boston arrived. It was a 1958 twin engine plane held together with bailing wire, and it was filled with heavy drinkers and unattended not so well-mannered children. Over the mountains one of the engines fell off, and Peter, frightened by his earlier bad choices and fearing for his life, asked for two parachutes. He jumped. As he fell through the air, he tried to make up his mind which ripcord to pull. He pulled the cord on the left, but nothing happened. He pulled the cord on his right, but it broke. In desperation the poor fellow cried out, "St. Francis, save me!" A great hand from heaven reached down, seized him by the wrist, and left him dangling in mid-air. Then a gentle but inquisitive voice asked, "St. Francis, Xavier or St. Francis of Assisi?" The poor man couldn't’ win for losing, but that’s life sometimes. Life is risky, because it’s full of choices where we don’t always know the outcome.

It’s the same with choosing to follow Jesus Christ. There is great risk involved, because we don’t always know how people are going to respond to that choice. Some may appreciate the choice because of the changes it brings into our lives. But others may very well reject us for choosing to follow Jesus, because they resent those very changes.

Now to make the right choices and to be able to accept the changes they bring, one must pray always and never lose heart.