Catholic in Yanchep

The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium)

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B | Do we choose God or does He choose us?

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Christ commissions the disciples (detail), reverse surface of the Maesta, Altarpiece in Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Siena, Duccio di Buoninsegna (ca 1255 - pre-1319), tempera on wood, 1308-1311.

Christ commissions the disciples (detail), reverse surface of the Maesta, Altarpiece in Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Siena, Duccio di Buoninsegna (ca 1255 – pre-1319), tempera on wood, 1308-1311.

To what extent are we free agents?  Does God choose you to be saved, or do you get there (or not) by your own free choice?  In his analysis of today’s readings, Dr John Bergsma says,

For myself, I’m not optimistic that I will ever understand predestination, or the mysterious interaction between God’s will and my own free will, in this life.  With St. Paul, however, I do recognize that, although I often felt like I was “choosing for God” at various points in my life, when I look back now, it seems apparent that God was moving everything in a direction he always intended.  How this works, I don’t know, but it is a common Christian experience.  If someone wants to insist that it can’t be so, that God can’t “choose us” and at the same time we freely “choose him,” I would reply that reality is more mysterious then we realize.  Even physicists have discovered this: there are apparent “contradictions” in the material world that are nevertheless true.  For example, light is both a wave and particle at the same time, yet how this can be so is very difficult to imagine.

Read the rest of his commentary on the readings here. In particular he focuses on the unlikelihood of God’s choice of messengers.  Download today’s Mass readings for Australia here:

Word format: Year B 15th Sunday 2015

Pdf format: Year B 15th Sunday 2015

For more thoughts on the theme of liberty in relation to God, Jean Paul Sartre and Existentialism, listen to Fr Barron’s homily.

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