These words, taken from today’s first reading from the book of Sirach, give me reason to pause. They also remind me of similar verses that can be found in Scripture. For example, in Deuteronomy, chapter 30 verse 19 we find these words: “…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live…” In Joshua chapter 24 verse 15, we find these words: “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,…as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD…” (This verse is particularly meaningful to me, because it always reminds me of my father, and I chose this passage from Joshua to be proclaimed at his funeral Mass.) So, at least in my mind any way, there does seem to be a theme running through scripture which has found its way into our Sunday Lectionary today. Within this theme are the ideas of free will, life and death, and serving the Lord. And remember this, for the ancient Hebrews, life, by definition, was that precisely which proceeded from loving and obeying God. Therefore, if we choose to serve God, we are choosing life. Death was defined as the rejection of God. Therefore, if we choose not to serve or obey the Lord, we choose death. But we need to understand that our choices affect not only eternity-they affect today as well. If I want to live today, it means that I choose to serve the Lord today. If I choose not to serve the Lord today, it means that for today I have not chosen life; I have chosen something else, and what follows from that choice will not be the life that comes from God but something else, i.e. isolation from Him- which is the same as death. Remember, what we choose will be given to us, so let’s be sure to choose to serve the Lord and not some other god, let’s be sure to choose life, so that we will live today and throughout all eternity with the Lord.