20 Aug 2015
“Many are invited; few are chosen.” Now, to our ears, those sound like the same thing—whoever was invited is already chosen; I mean, they were chosen to be invited. But here the Lord is reminding us of an important distinction.
Everyone, the “bad and good alike,” is invited to enjoy God. Everyone is invited to be healed, to be comforted, to come alive again by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Everyone is invited to live a life of continual conversion toward the ways of goodness, love, justice, and so on.
Everybody’s invited. But those who are chosen and allowed to step inside this new life we call “life with God,” the chosen ones are those who actually accept the invitation. The chosen ones are those who wear that “wedding garment,” the white garment of baptism, the white garment of a live well-lived in the Spirit of Christ.
Everybody’s invited to the banquet of God’s grace. Some accept the invitation because it’s just expected of them; but they don’t really engage God. But many others do accept the invitation because they want to. The “chosen ones” want to know God, at least in some way. They’re able to say, to some degree, “Here I am, Lord.”
The chosen ones of God are both saints and sinners. And they’re those who persist in their faith, who continually grow in God’s wisdom, knowledge, love, and the virtues. They’re the ones who say to God, “God, help me to live a good life, the kind of life you want me to live. Help me to love you and to love my neighbor as myself."
And everybody’s invited to live the life of God’s chosen people. All it takes is a little humility, some curiosity about divine things, and a simple prayer: “Here I am, Lord.” Here I am—show me how to live well.