WE ARE A CHOSEN RACE (cf. 1Pet 2:9)
⏰Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
📖Exod 19:2-6a; Psalm 100; Rom 5:6-11; Matt 9:36 – 10:8
🎤WE ARE A CHOSEN RACE (cf. 1Pet 2:9)
All the readings of today, including the responsorial Psalm, and especially the First Reading and the Gospel, point out the fact of Gods choice of us to be his people. In the first reading, the people of Israel became our representatives in that choice. Remember that Israel as a nation is made up of 12 tribes corresponding to the 12 sons of Jacob. Then, as Israel is considered the vessel of Gods salvation following their choice by God as his people, that number “12” became identical with and a symbol of salvation.
Compare that with Jesus choice of the 12 apostles in the Gospel. These men would be responsible for carrying the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Beyond that responsibility as carriers of the Gospel, these men symbolically represent the new Israel, which is formed by Christ.
Notice that ‘choice’ has so far been a recurrent word here. And God is the one making that choice. The responsorial psalm got that point clearly saying, “He made us; we belong to him” (Psalm 100:3). Before this divine choice got into their heads, Moses reminded the people that the choice was not made out of their own merit but out of God’s special love for them (cf. Deut 7:7-8).
This point of God’s love is where we see the connection the other readings have with the Second Reading. St. Paul pointed out in that reading that it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us (Rom 5:8), pointing to the fact that we did not merit him dying for us. He died for us out of love. In a like manner, the 12 apostles were not a collection of 12 very important personalities (VIPs) but those who did not worth much in the eyes of the people, when compared with the task they were to carry out. Most of them were illiterates, but God chose them to be teachers even to the learned.
The most important message we must pick out of this is, therefore, the fact that we are simply privileged to be part of this chosen race. We must endeavour to appreciate God by living a holy life through the obedience of what God has commanded as that is what he demanded of the people of Israel (cf. Exod 19:5-6). Remember that his command has been summarized into two: Love of God and Love of neighbour (cf. Matt 22:37-40).
Another message would then flow from there. Love of our neighbour commands us to see our neighbours as ourselves. So, while we behold others who are not as privileged as we are, we must approach them with mercy and help them to grow into the love of God that would enable them to be part of that chosen race.
All of us, in our different capacities as leaders in the society especially leaders of the youth, parents, priests, catechists, formators in the formation houses must understand that we are chosen and formed by God out of love. Love should control our attitudes towards the people who are placed under us (Read 1Pet 5:1-4).
May God give us the grace to see ourselves as instruments chosen to win souls for him and not to scatter those he had chosen himself. Amen.
Peace be with you.