My Brothers and Sisters in the Catholic Faith!
The Gospel passage from Matthew which have been just proclaimed takes us into a different direction. It shows the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, the beginning which was marked by calling Peter and Andrew, James and John to follow Christ. What happened that moment can be described by what Jesus said at the Last Supper: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit sould abide.” Isn’t interesting that the Word of God offers us a different point of view on what Christianity is all about. We tend to talk about our choice of God, about our commitment to him, about our decision to have him as Our Lord but the Holy Bible looks at following of Christ as his own initiative. In the Old Testament we have the words of the Almighty addressed to Prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” St Paul the Apostle whose conversion we celebrated yesterday wrote about his life journey similarly: “God, who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose me to reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the pagans.”
Before we start talking about us choosing God we need to pause and marvel at Our Lord, Jesus Christ choosing us and calling us to follow him ac Catholics.
When I reflect on the scene from the Gospel for this Sunday what comes to my mind are the games we were playing as kids. We didn’t have computers, tablets, iPhones, Xboxes, there was very little on TV but would you believe: WE DID HAVE FUN. The best fun was to play outdoor games with friends, it was usually soccer. Every game started the same way, we had to make teams. So two people would be choosing their team members, all the others would be jumping as high as they could with their hands up screaming: “Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!”
If we are Catholics today, if we are members of the Body of Christ, his Holy Church it isn’t because we stood out in the crowd but because Christ saw us in the crowd and he loved us. Before our parents met and fell in love with each other God had already foreseen us and loved us. He did so in order we could share Christ’s mission to make him known and loved by others. What qualities He saw in us then? HIS LOVE GIVEN TO US.
That’s why when it comes to talking about baptizing or not baptizing babies what we believe in is that God’s calling isn’t into a toxic relationship where one person manipulates and controls another, and makes it addicted to him or her so that there is no way out. God’s call we are contemplating today is to the loving community of the Most Holy Trinity which finds its prolongation in the Holy Church of God. His call is prove of his love to me and you, and many others out there. As Catholics we need to believe that living with God is a blessing not a violation of one’s freedom. What more meaningful and uplifting can you tell a person then: “God has chosen you!”?