A Matter of Grace

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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr. Raymund Festin, SVD (Rome)

Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, the Apostles — October 28

Image source: Wikimedia Commons, Christ taking leave of the Apostles

The key word in today’s Gospel is choice. Jesus chooses 12 Apostles.

The act of choosing is a curious feature of human nature. Only human beings do this—something that distinguishes us from our noble brethren in the kingdom of animalia and plantae.

In making choices in life, we show how strange and funny creatures we are.

Why? Well, we pride ourselves on being rational animals who always find reason(s) in everything—pandemic, bad luck, accident, fate, death, good fortune, sickness, etc.

We even take for granted as true the meaningless saying that “there is a reason for everything.”

Actually, we human beings are not very rational animals. And it is not true that “there is a reason for everything.”

This is shown in the choices we make in life.

Think of a young, charming, and beautiful girl who freely chooses to marry an ugly, foolish, and good-for-nothing dunce. Her parents don’t see any logic in her choice.

Think of Filipino voters who choose corrupt, foul-mouthed, and stupid politicians during elections. We cannot explain this behavior by any rational permutations.

Or think of a mother who willfully keeps on forgiving her worthless son—no reason there also.

Even Jesus can be unreasonable in his choices. For such an important task of preaching God’s kingdom, he chooses men with an unimpressive track record to do the job.

Why, if Jesus wants the good news preached effectively, he should have chosen brilliant and worthy men and women. But, like us, Jesus too is not rational in his choices.

So, this thing called choice is something mysterious.
And this mystery lies not in the one chosen but in the one who chooses.

That is why we honor St. Simon and St. Jude today because it was Jesus who chose them.

And when Jesus chooses someone, it’s not just a matter of choice; it is grace

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