Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the holy ones who are in Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.
In Christ we have redemption by his Blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.
R. (2a)The Lord has made known his salvation. Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. R.The Lord has made known his salvation. The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. R.The Lord has made known his salvation. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. R.The Lord has made known his salvation. Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the LORD. R.The Lord has made known his salvation.
The Lord said: “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
By Claudia Rodriguez
To be chosen is an ardent desire that rests in my heart. I have found myself chasing being chosen by the temporal of this world countless times: jobs, friendships, men. For every job interview I have tailored my resume and my answers so that I could be chosen among the masses of applicants. In a desire to be chosen as a confidant by those around me, I have overextended myself. Then instead of being steadfast I have found myself asking for pardon more times than I can count. And in relationships with men, I have seen myself become what I think they want, and I have lost a sense of myself each time.
I have put so much effort, so much sacrifice in the pursuit of being chosen.
In today’s readings, the Lord confirms and solidifies in my heart such a beautiful, good, and true message in response to this desire to be chosen. St. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians, “he [God our Father] chose us before the foundation of the world”. Right there in this verse the Lord is saying that I have been chosen from before the foundation of the world. What I have been chasing and grasping at has always been mine, if I only look in the right direction.
God my Father chose me to be His daughter, He chose me for Himself through Jesus Christ. Why? The answer is there in His word, “In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace”.
The answer to why God my Father does anything is always love.
Out of love and in love He chose me and willed me into existence. For what purpose? So that I can praise Him and speak of the glory of His grace. and to be in communion with Him on this side of heaven and for eternity.
God my Father chose me before time began, before I or anything existed. I was never an afterthought. I was intentionally desired and chosen to be here at this moment for a time such as this. God chooses me and I get to choose Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus.
I would not know what it means to be chosen if it were not for Jesus. When I am in church in times of duress and I see the cross, I cling to his loving gaze that shows me I have always been chosen.
Today’s saint, St. Teresa of Jesus, is a perfect example of someone who knew that they were chosen by God. She lived and fought for the reality that God chose her. Through her beautiful witness, she radiated the perfume of God, drawing others to Him. She chose God back. I have not always chosen God and I have desired to be chosen by others before Him. But today I choose God my Father and I choose to live as a chosen daughter of a mighty, mighty God.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claudia Rodriguez loves her family and friends. She is known for loving to bring people together so they can connect with one another. Having one on one's is one of her favorite ways of spending her time. She loves coffee shops, books, reading her poetry and being a volunteer editor for Chastity Project. It is good to know that if you give her a good cup of blended dirty chai lavender latte she will love you forever. She loves volunteering for her parish and going out with friends after. In the past, she has worked as an English teacher and in ministry and is currently rediscovering her passions and learning to dream again. The Lord is her Shepherd.