Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem;but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the law and the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, give it.” So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak:
“You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. For about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance for about four hundred fifty years.
After that he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.’
Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised; before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his work, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In the long line of faith ancestors, God chose many people, prophets and kings, as Paul eloquently speaks of in today’s first reading.
Wanting to be chosen, to be recognized for our abilities, character and “lovability” is an innate part of who we are. Jesus says in today’s gospel, “I know those whom I have chosen.” For the most part, we fail to realize that we are God’s chosen. God knows our name, our abilities, strengths and weaknesses. God knows us better than we know ourselves. Do we believe it?
How can I better recognize and nurture that close relationship with God? How does God want to use my unique qualities to spread God’s Spirit in my life today?
—Marge Sears is a writer and parishioner at Gesu Parish, Detroit MI.
Lord Jesus, from the start you invite ordinary people to come to where you live. When they come, you welcome them and choose them to labor and rejoice with you. You are the most beautiful among all people, and I hardly believe you want me for your friend. You are powerful, Lord. Draw me more and more into your friendship, and lead me along the way you took with friends.
—Joseph Tetlow, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!