Destined And Chosen for God

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Our consumer society today shows us that we have to buy things now, and buy them in bulk to beat prices, without thinking that tomorrow has its own needs. Advertisements tell us that companies have the best products in the world, and all are number one in quality and in production, and they do not consider that things and people grow old. Stores can make their presentations attractive that make our eyes bigger than our houses, our stomachs and our kitchens. They can be so appealing that it’s easy for people to open wide their purses and swipe their cards fast, yet find themselves difficult to open their hearts to the plight of the needy.

Our consumer society today also promotes all kinds of insurances, from life and property to intellectual rights. So, we have to work so that we can retire, thus lose the enjoyment and meaning of our work and the stamina of our youthfulness. We get life insurance only to die and not see the benefits of our contributions. We are happy to have accident and health insurance, and lose personal care how we drive our cars and how much we eat and exercise. What about our eternal life insurance?

Popular culture tells us that artificial contraceptives are good devices and beneficial to all, that abortion is a human right, that sexual promiscuity and self-indulgence are healthy human behaviors, that marriage of the same sex is just as good and true as marriage of a man and woman, that killing of human embryos to harvest their stem cells is praiseworthy. Yes, today’s world is too comfortable with lies and very uncomfortable with truth. Many would rather live comfortably without God than live uncomfortably with truth and with God. Even Amos, who was a simple shepherd and a dresser of sycamores, was rejected by the priest of Bethel, because Amos was proclaiming the message of God. Adam and Eve were promised by the devil a life like gods. We tend to accept more the popular rather than what can form our consciences to the truth and things of God.

In his letter to the Ephesians St. Paul proclaims:

  1. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens…. He chose us in him…. to be holy and without blemish before him” (Eph 1:3-4). We have all the blessings to live here on earth and in heaven. Yet we become so attached to this world that we find it difficult to follow Jesus towards the Father through our responsibilities and relationships. We are seasonal pray-ers. We pray only when we find the time, not aware that our time is God’s gift to us. We easily find our way to gossiping, unaware that we ourselves are full of weaknesses and sins. We are short tempered and proud, unaware that life is too short for anger and pride. We are lazy, thus making ourselves susceptible playground of the devil. Only in Christ can we bring back the blessings of the Father for us as chosen people, to be holy and blameless in His sight.
  1. “In love He destined us for….Himself through Jesus Christ…. In Him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions…. In Him we were also chosen…. so that we might exist for the praise of His glory” (Eph 1:4-6). {Imagine a criminal attempt to murder a king. He is arrested and thrown down in the dungeon. He can only be grateful for being alive. Now, imagine that the king shows up in prison, walks into his cell and tells the prisoner that he can go free. Surprised and overjoyed he leaves his cell, only to find out the king is locked inside. Shocked, the guard explains that the king took the punishment on himself so that he could have another chance to live. Then the joyful criminal is greeted by an official who leads him to a beautiful and well furnished room with access to the king’s palace. That would be a very generous king, to do so much for a criminal who tried to murder him (cf. epriest, July 12, 2009).} Have we imagined well? That is an image of what God has done for us. The Father sent Jesus to the world to redeem us, to make us His children and share in the joy of His kingdom.

Today let us renew our trust and commitment to God. Let us make prayer a priority in our life. Prayer, though, is not particularly when we talk, but when we make God present and when we listen to Him. Let us make the Sacraments, especially the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, important devotions in our life. And let us chose our friends who can lead us closer to the Lord through words and actions, in our responsibilities and relationships. As we strive to be holy, let us ask our Mother Mary, always to lead us to Her Son Jesus, who gives us strength in the face of temptations and authority over unclean spirits.

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