Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We will serve the Lord, our God, and obey his voice. (Joshua 24:24)

Think of a sailor out on a boat in the ocean. His map shows a straight line to his destination, but the boat is being buffeted by the winds and the currents. It’s his job to keep the boat on course.

Now think of God as that sailor and the people in this passage as the boat. They had been buffeted by the ups and downs of their journey through the desert, and some of them were worshipping other gods. Through their leader, Joshua, God offered them a course correction so that they could deepen their life with him.

It wouldn’t be the first time that God had to do this. The Israelites had made a promise to Moses after God made a covenant with them: “All that the Lord has said, we will hear and do” (Exodus 24:7). But as we know, they disobeyed his commands and began worshipping a golden calf not long afterward. There was also the time they grumbled so much that God sent serpents among them to shake them up (Numbers 21:4-9). Even after Joshua renewed their covenant with God, they eventually strayed again. Israel became divided, and the two kingdoms (North and South) both experienced defeat and exile.

Yet through the centuries, God never gave up on his people—and he never gives up on us. He knows our weaknesses, so he sent his Son to get us to our final destination of eternal life with him. And because he knew that our growth in holiness would not always happen in a straight line, he gave us a great gift: the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That’s how compassionate our God is! He wants to forgive us and shower us with his mercy, no matter what is taking us off course.

So go to Confession. Don’t procrastinate or make excuses. Don’t let fear or shame keep you away. Jesus is ready to forgive your every fall and misstep. And he will not only forgive your sins; he will give you the grace you need so that you don’t veer off the next time. Remember, he wants nothing more than to navigate your boat through storms, waves, wind, or anything else you encounter on your journey.

“Jesus, thank you for guiding me all the way to heaven!”

Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11
Matthew 19:13-15

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