Reading 1: Amos 7:12-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Reading 2: Ephesians 1:3-14 or 1:3-10
Gospel: Mark 6:7-13
We Are Chosen!
It is always exciting when one is chosen to be on the team. Just knowing that someone thought enough of you to choose you to be on their team. Some may have the experience of having been chosen last or of being left out. We know how good it feels and we value being chosen. Especially to be part of a team that accomplishes something special.
Throughout the Scriptures on this Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the theme reiterated is that we are chosen by God. I don’t know about you, but that resonates in my spirit.
The first reading is from Amos. Amos was a simple shepherd and field worker. God had chosen him by giving him a vision of the future. Amos knew that being a prophet was a thankless job. Yet Amos began to preach with fire and fearlessness what God had instructed: That God’s people were not living up to the commandments, that they worshipped idols, and oppressed the poor. There were severe consequences to these sins.
In the second reading from Ephesians, Paul makes it clear, as, with Amos, it is not just special individuals who are chosen, but that God has chosen each of us “before the foundation of the world.” This is not some simple choosing, but God has chosen us for “adoption.” If you ever wanted to be chosen to be on a team, being on God’s team would seem like a good choice. Then to find out that you have not just been chosen to be on the team but also to be God’s child. We are chosen to fulfill the purpose that God has predestined for us.
In the Gospel, Jesus instructs the Disciples, the team of 12, he had chosen. Their mission was to preach repentance, drive out demons and cure the sick.
There is a banner hanging in our sanctuary at The Faith Community at Saint Sabina, “Discipleship will cost…Are you willing?” We are chosen by Jesus as his disciples. This is a glorious thing beyond imagination. It means that we are on God’s team and that we share God’s mission. Discipleship requires proclaiming an unadulterated message of the Gospel with words and actions. Racism is a sin. Neglect and oppression of the poor are sins. White supremacy is a sin. Hatred is a sin. Are we willing to step out of our comfort zones, like Amos, and proclaim fearlessly, what “thus says the Lord?” to those who will reject the message? Are we ready to attend to the needs of the poor and sick? Are we ready to stand against the demons and evil that is all around us?
The good news is that God has chosen us to be missionary disciples. The good news is God has chosen us as his children. The good news is that God has chosen us to be on God’s team. Our challenge is how are going to help the team win? A beautiful thing is that God has chosen us as family, therefore, we have each other to provide the encouragement, support, and discernment needed on this journey. Find a partner on the team, find a few, step up and do your part in helping the team win!