Fulfilling God’s Purpose and Will For Choosing Me
Readings: 1st: Amos 7, 12-15; Ps 84; 2nd: Eph 1, 3-14; Gos Mk 6: 7-13
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Today is the fifteenth Sunday of ordinary time. One important theme that is common to all the readings of this Sunday is: “God’s Choice.” This simply points to both the missionary nature of the church and of our calling as God’s messengers. The readings remind us that God’s choice of us was not a product of chance, but a deliberate act. Thus, this Sunday, the church provides us a great opportunity to ask ourselves these very pertinent questions: “What is God’s purpose for choosing me as His messenger and, am I fulfilling this purpose?”
In our first reading, God choose Amos – a poor famer, to go and prophesy in the northern kingdom of Israel. God had a purpose for this. He knew very well that there were prophets there. However, they were not his choice because they had compromised their calling. By becoming corrupt and distracted by materialism, they could longer deliver justices to the oppressed and the weak. Instead of speaking for the poor, weak and the oppressed, they spoke for their pockets, bank accounts, and stomachs. Hence, God felt that the only one who was suitable for his work was an innocent poor farmer who was detached from the materialism of the time and the northern kingdom. Of course, in spite of the oppositions and challenges he faced from the “professional and paid prophets” of the northern kingdom, Amos fulfilled God’s purpose of choosing him without being corrupted by the materialism of his time.
In our second reading, Paul did not just stop by telling us that God chose us in Christ. Instead, he went further to tell us remind us of the reason God chose us: “To be holy, and spotless, and to live through love in his presence….” Simply put, this is the primary will and purpose of God for choosing us. However, as one does not live for oneself, the secondary purpose why God choose us is to reach out to others. That is, to develop a missionary spirit. These two goals and purposes put together form the ultimate goal and purpose of God for us.
Today’s gospel highlights this secondary purpose. Christ took time to prepare his disciples in order to help them achieve the primary purpose of God in their own lives. Afterwards, He sent them out to achieve the secondary purpose and will. That is, mission to their community and world. Through this, mission ad intra became the foundation for mission ad extra.” This is what growth in Christ means. It means striving to achieve the primary purpose of being holy, impeccable and loving and also, going out to help others achieve it. This is what it means to be a missionary and to develop a missionary spirit. For this to be possible, we must not be selfish and love must move us to invite others to share our experience. Hence, we must behave like an ant that finds a piece of food and, invites others to share the food with it.
Finally, in order to make sure that his disciples did not lose focus of this purpose, Christ instructed them on how to go about their mission. Jesus knew the influence of materialism and that any soul taken captive by it will definitely lose focus of his mission. That was why he instructed his disciple against it. So, to succeed in the mission of Christ, we must be careful about materialism, extreme capitalism and, anything that could distract us from fulfilling God’s purpose and will for choosing us. Therefore, abiding by the instructions of Jesus is a sure means of fulfilling God’s purpose. Whereas, neglecting them is the easiest way of loosing focus and falling. Sadly, most of us pastors, priests and religious and of course, the people of God have lost focus of our mission by disobeying the instructions of Christ. We have become so distracted that we no longer pay attention to the main purpose of our mission and call as Christians. This is the reason we achieve little. So, we must constantly remind ourselves that God chose us for a purpose and, must strive to achieve it.
Peace be with you!!