It is sometimes said you can choose your friends but not your family.
However it is maybe more true that your friends choose you.
And we are chosen to in the case of the family of God, at least in the case of our membership of the family of the Church.
We are all children of God – all of humanity – by virtue of his being our creator. We are all made in the image and likeness of God, and loved and cherished by God.
And yet we become his sons and daughters in a more specific and, indeed, privileged way through holy Baptism. There we become members of the Body of Christ, the Church: there we receive a share in Christ’s life and become responsible for sharing in his threefold ministry as priest, prophet and king.
In Baptism we are freed from the penalty of Adam. And we are adopted, chosen, welcomed into those new dimensions of life in Christ. Dimensions, ways, that lead to true freedom, an everlasting inheritence.
And , ironically, maybe one of the consequences of this new life is that we don’t get to choose our friends… We are called to befriend all of humankind, especially those who seem (to us; to them) most lost.
Collect for 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
O God, by whom we are redeemed and receive adoption,
look graciously upon your beloved sons and daughters,
that those who believe in Christ
may receive true freedom
and an everlasting inheritance.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
~ Translation of the Collect: English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved..
~ Commentary: (c) 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: The Blind man and the Paralytic. Arles, France. (c) 2013, Allen Morris