Friday, October 14, 2016


Today the first reading and the Psalm both use an uncomfortable word. Chosen. We are chosen. Who? Who is this we? What does it mean? Didn't we choose? Isn't that the whole point? We choose to follow Christ?

We are such arrogant creatures. Even though God tells us that faith is a gift, we still sort of like to think we earned it. We claimed it. It is ours.

I admit, the Catholic anti-Calvinist in me struggles with these readings. When I was about sixteen a boy asked me on a date. Before the date, we went to his home to meet his family. I was ambushed when I got there, or at least, that was my perception. I doubt it was his. He was a sweetie. But he had laid a trap for me. I walked into his home to be greeted and welcomed to sit down with his father and his pastor and they wanted to talk about predestination. I was an arrogant sixteen year old Catholic. It didn't occur to me to listen for what truth they might know and how it might inform my faith. All I heard was predestination.

I wanted to gloss over the "he chose me" part and skip right to the "I chose him" part. 

Both are true, but the latter is easier for me to grab. I did it. I remember. I do it. I choose Christ. Again and again. Every day. Ideally, every moment of every day, but let's be honest: I'm a terrible Christian.

The truth is, this gift of faith is ours. We claim it, but it is a gift. God chose us. He invites everyone, but he chose you. You are one of his chosen people. That is extraordinary. It is a gift which comes with a burden: spread the message. This gift is for sharing. Get out there. Live it. Preach it. Let God use you to bring people in. And don't get bogged down on ability. God uses broken vessels. Your chips and nicks are not gonna be a problem.

What is going to be a problem? If you think you are a perfect pot which filled itself and your trying to share that. Pride spills over, but it is poisonous. It infects people. Let God be in charge.

Talking about your faith is good. Teaching and preaching. But stay humble. Pray for people. You can't touch them, but he can through you if you let him.