Friday, June 20, 2014

God's Choice

St. Peter was chosen as the leader of the Apostles.  His role as leader is well documented not only in Sacred Scripture but also in the writings of the Church Fathers.  In the Holy Bible, where the list of Apostles are found, Peter is always named first even when the list are not in the same order (See Matthew 10:2-4, Luke 6:13-16, and Acts 1:3).  It was Peter and only Peter who received the key of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:19).  Christ gave Peter the key, which symbolized "authority."  It was also Peter and only Peter whom Christ entrusted to take care of his entire flock (John 21:14-17). 

Personally, if it were up to me, I would have chosen St. John because he was the only Apostle there at the foot of the cross.  I certainly would not have chosen Peter who denied Christ three times. Yet, it was Christ who chose the denier to be His representative. This was God's choice.  My choice is not the choice of God.  And sometimes, even our will is not God's will.  

God chooses the weak, the most humblest, the poor, the handicap, and even the worst sinner to be His disciples.  Of all the nations of the earth, God chose Israel as His chosen people.  The people of Israel were slaves, and slaves were the poorest of the poor.  But from this group of slaves, God turned them into the great nation of Israel.  Only God is capable of such a turn a group of slaves into the nation of Israel. 

God chose Moses who had a speech impediment  (Exodus 4:10) and made him a spokesperson for Israel and to lead His people out from slavery in Egypt. Only God can take a person who is very slow in speech and turn him into a spokesperson.  If it were up to me, I would have chosen someone who was eloquent in speech.  But my choice is not God's choice. 

God chose David, a young shepherd boy with no military skills, to defeat Goliath who was a giant soldier with military skills.  Again, only God can take a shepherd boy and turn him into a warrior and a king, which is what He did. 

God chose Abraham and his barren wife Sarah.  Abraham was very old and had no children.  Yet, God made Abraham the father of many nations, and transformed Sarah's dead womb into vitalness so that she was able to bear Isaac. 

God chose a woman to conquer Israel's enemy (Judith 13:12-16:20) and even chose a pagan, Cyrus a Persian King, to lead Israel (Isaiah 45:1).  God's plan for His people is not subject to the vagaries of man's choices.  In fact, often the opposite is true.  God leads people to obedience to Him and works through people to accomplish His purposes. 

Christ had many disciples or followers.  However, out of those many disciples, He only chose 12 Apostles.  Most likely, those 12 were the worst among the entire group. 

Then there was the Apostle Paul, who was a Pharisee and persecutor of Christians.  He became one of God's chosen ones.  God converted Paul's heart that he no longer became a persecutor of Christ and His Church.  Only God has the power to turn a sinner into a saint.   

God chooses the weak, the poor, the most humblest, the handicap, and the worst sinner so that He could manifest His power through their weakness.  If a strong person were chosen, people can easily say that it was the strength of that strong person who defeated Goliath rather than the strength of God.  If an eloquent speaker was chosen as a spokesperson instead of a stutterer, people could easily dismiss the power of God and say that it was because the person was so articulate that he is able to be an excellent spokesperson.  

Our choices are not the same as God's choice.  And our will may also not be the same as God's will for us.  Some of us may believe that we are following God's will when in fact we are simply following our own will.  Therefore, it is always important to pray and discern God's will for us.   

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