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Thursday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Paul tells the Colossians that they are special. He calls them “God’s chosen ones.” You are a chosen one of God too; you are special. But this revelation should not make us “better than thou” people. That is not what Paul is saying, though I’m afraid some Christians take it that way. Some seem to think they are the only ones going to heaven, that they are the saved “remnant.” That leads some Christians to look down their noses at everybody else.

Paul is telling us Christians that we are chosen because he has a job for us. Listen to what he says: “Because you are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another, forgive whatever grievances you have against one another.”

Listen also to Jesus speaking in our gospel: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you, pray for those who maltreat you … turn the other cheek ... give to all who beg from you ... Do to others what you would have them do to you. Be compassionate ... do not judge, do not condemn …” etc. etc, etc.”

Yes, we are God’s chosen ones. We’ve been chosen to give God’s love to others, not to be demanding recipients of honor and acclaim. Holier than others? When we try living up to our calling we find out how holy we are. To be a “chosen one of God” is a privilege, but not one we have earned. And when we find out about the work that comes with it, is it a title we really even want?

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