We know that by turning everything to their good, God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called he justified, and with those he justified he shared his glory.
Second reading at Mass on Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
From our perspective we make the running, or we try to. And yet Paul sees more clearly: it is the Lord who sets the stage, and fits the players for their role. We are invited to take the role, he doesn’t force or even insist. He makes it as if it were an agreement, an opportunity, for fulfilment that is entered into collaboratively, as equals.
Icons and Crosses. Hermitage, St Petersburg. (c) 2015, Allen Morris