Today’s first proclamation pictures Joshua, Moses’ successor, gathering all the Israelites in liturgy. He asks them to choose finally and forever to serve the Lord and reject strange gods. And they so commit. Some years ago, I heard a homilist preaching on this passage. He listed our own strange gods: wealth, controlling, alcohol, sex; etc. Like Joshua, he asked the community to reject these gods, and pledge allegiance to the Lord. He had placed, at every exit, pens and paper with a declaration of such commitment. He asked us, as we departed, to sign our names. He then concluded his homily with community prayer. As I signed my name, I reflected on my opportunity to participate in such compelling history, and my promise to to serve the ever-living Lord.

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