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Friday, May 14, 2010

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St. Matthias
Pentecost Novena - Day 1

Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Psalm 113:1-8
John 15:9-17

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chosen, not choosy

"It was not you who chose Me, it was I Who chose you to go forth and bear fruit." —John 15:16

The Lord chose Matthias to be an apostle and replace Judas (Acts 1:24ff). It was not so much that Matthias chose the Lord, but that the Lord chose him (see Jn 15:16). It is the same for us. Although we choose to accept Jesus as our Lord, choice in the Bible is not so much what we do, but what God does. Biblically, "pro-choice" is "pro-God's choice," not our choice. Pro-choice is pro-obedience to God's will, that is, submitting to the Lord and denying ourselves.

Christians today hardly ever think of choice in this way because we are conformed to the world's self-centered mentality (see Rm 12:2). Even when we focus on God doing the choosing and ourselves being the chosen, we still seem brainwashed into a myopic self-centeredness. For many Christians, being chosen means being preferred over other people. We're chosen for the promotion, the team, or the honor. However, being chosen biblically is not so much comparing ourselves with others as accepting a call to share the gospel. We are not primarily chosen instead of someone else. We are chosen to witness for the risen Christ (see Acts 1:22) and to bear fruit for His kingdom (see Jn 15:16). We are chosen not for selfishness but fruitfulness.

Prayer:  Father, send the Spirit to break the bondage of selfishness in my life.

Promise:  "They prayed: 'O Lord, You read the hearts of men.' " —Acts 1:24

Praise:  St. Matthias was honored by God to be a healing element in a group that had been broken by treachery and deceit.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Job Performance for Jesus, or on audio AV 43-3 or video V-43.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009

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