Friday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

            Jesus, in today’s gospel reading, chooses twelve whom he also names apostles. His choice is not dependent on any qualifications or criteria. The Twelve are ordinary working men, most of whom with no great educational background or social prominence.

            Let me give you a short and partial profile of the Apostles… Peter was emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew had no outstanding qualities for leadership. The two brothers, James and John, were very ambitious. Thomas was too pessimistic and skeptical. Matthew had a bad reputation – seen by many a corrupt. James (the son of Alphaeus) and Thaddeus had radical leanings. Not many people would have chosen them to be their mission partners. But Jesus did… because he saw in each one the real person. Jesus was able to look beyond their flaws and cracks and saw their hidden goodness and greatness.

            We too, due to our sinfulness, are all “too flawed” and “too cracked.” But God never rejects us as useless… He never considers us to be too ugly for him. By his grace and mercy, God forms us, recreates us… to be beautiful creatures he intended us to be.

            Beyond all the ugliness of our sinfulness – beyond all our faults and failures –Jesus sees the beauty of the creature made in the image and likeness of his Father. Jesus shows his total and unconditional acceptance of each of us. And he even chooses us to follow him… he calls us to be fishers of people… he wants us to be his mission partners. Indeed, God is so in love with us that he overlooks all our faults and failures, all our flaws and imperfections. He is blind with love… love that sees beyond our shortcomings and mistakes… love that sees the good and the beautiful in us… love that sees the possibilities that others do not recognize.

            Come to think of it, the Lord chooses us not because we are good and holy, not because we donate to the parish and to charities, not because we go to Mass and spend hours in prayer everyday. The Lord chooses us not because of those things. If he has any reason at all, it is that we are weak – just like Peter, Andrew, James, John, and the rest of the apostles.

            The Lord chooses us, not only for what we are, but also for what we are capable of becoming under his influence and in his power.

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