The Good Word for July 12th

kickballFor the complete Sunday readings click here. 

At Bellerive Elementary School, I played a lot of kickball. Our field was lava-hot blacktop with yellow painted bases and base paths. If we kicked it far enough the ball would race past the hop scotch kids run all the way down a hill to the dumpsters behind the school – automatic homerun. We used to divide into two teams by naming captains and then have them pick their teams. Classic.

It was always such a relief to get picked. Sometimes I was a captain, but most of the time I was picked in about the middle of the group. Someone would call my name and I would confidently strut over to my team. Getting picked felt like someone was saying, “I choose you. I think you can help us win. I want you to be on my team.”

In our readings this Sunday, we hear about people being chosen by God. In the first reading, Amos explains that he was a shepherd, minding his own business, when God called him and sent him to prophesy to Israel. In the gospel, Jesus chooses the Twelve to go out and proclaim the good news, to call people to repent, and to heal the sick. In the 2nd reading, Paul reminds the Christians of Ephesus that they have been chosen to praise God. The thing with all these readings is that they show us that God has chosen us too.

God chose you.

And God continues to choose you. What has God chosen you to do? First, God has chosen you to be loved by Him. God chose you to be loved before you were ever born. The 2nd reading says, “He chose us in Him (Jesus), before the foundation of the world.” God chose us to be loved through Jesus Christ before creation of the world even took place. From the beginning of time to the end of time God loves and chooses you.

Second, God has chosen us to respond to his love. When someone tells us that they love us, we respond in some way, right? Same with God. God, through the scriptures, Mass, Reconciliation, our daily life, our spouse/family, and more is telling us that He loves us. How we respond matters. God showers His love down upon us, and our response is what we call “worship.” The 2nd reading says, “In him we were also chosen…so that we might exist for the praise of his glory.” If you’ve ever seen an overwhelmingly beautiful sunset and quietly said, “Oh wow God, thank you,” you’ve worshiped. Really praying the words or songs as Mass is another example of worship. Saying the simple prayer, “God you are awesome. Today was tough, but you got me through.” That is worship.

Third, God has chosen us to tell other people about our experience of God. Amos was sent to Israel. The Twelve were sent to the towns around them. You and I have been sent to our friends, our family, and Plymouth/Maple Grove/Wayzata/Medina, MN. When we have a profound experience of God’s love, we respond to God with praise, and we tell others about it. We were made for this. We have been chosen by God for this.

Live it:
Read the readings for this Sunday, July 12 by clicking here. Hear more about being chosen by God.