Today, it may be helpful to be part of the young church – as the memories will be fresher in our minds –because I want all of us to recall a time in our childhood when either in P.E. class or just in the neighborhood -- teams were being chosen for a game of kickball, soccer, or some other game requiring two opposing sides.
Captains would first be chosen – and then everyone else would be in a line or huddle – waiting to hear their fate – as to which team they would be on.
All of us who were less than physically fit or not quite up to par on the skill level required for the game – would begin praying that we would NOT BE CHOSEN LAST. Because that was a clear sign that you were somewhat of a looser even before the game began.
But alas – someone always has to be last.
The worst part was that final pick which always came down to one kid who thought they weren’t too horrible ------ and the one who knew for darn sure they were horrible.
Guess, then, who was always picked last -- assuring the sole survivor of this childhood ritual was left to question why he or she even bothered to leave the house that day? Such fond memories. . .
Most of the time to be chosen – can make a person feel wanted or needed.
You realize that someone else sees something in you that they respect or value --- maybe something that you don’t even recognize in yourself.
Being chosen allows you to become part of something bigger than yourself – a team, a community, a partnership.
If asked how many of us CHOOSE to follow Christ –most of us would raise our hands – or at least we know that choice was made for us by our parents at the time of our Baptism.
Even a popular Christian song by Tom Booth – which we last sang at CONFIRMATION proclaims:
I will choose Christ.
I will choose love.
I choose to serve.
I give my heart, I give my life, I give my all to you. . .
However, what we have really chosen – is a response ----- if we are a Christian, then we respond by following, we respond by imitating, we respond by conforming ourselves into the image and likeness of Christ.
We make such response because -- WE DID NOT CHOOSE CHRIST – CHRIST CHOSE US!
Jesus, speaking today in St. John’s Gospel tells us this very thing: “It was not you who chose me – but I who chose you.”
Do not think for a moment that it was our choice to get into the band of disciples --- WE WERE CHOSEN by Christ, himself, to be a disciple.
And unlike in our childhood ritual of choosing teams – which may at times even extend itself into adulthood ------- no one was chosen first and most importantly no one was chosen last ----
Christ saw in each one of us something of value – most times something we did not even recognize in ourselves --- and Christ made sure to choose us.
And no matter how many times we mess up – and no matter how many times we may feel unworthy or not good enough for Christ –
Christ reminds us that we are all stars on his team --- and he would choose each one of us all over again.
Today, and in the few days that remain of the Easter season – let’s celebrate the fact that we have been chosen – and allow the Holy Spirit to fall upon us – so that we can faithfully continue to follow, imitate, and conform ourselves into the image and likeness of Christ.
Moments in time...