"It is not you who have chosen me, but I who have chosen you..."
It is very easy to believe that our faith is to be credited to us -- as though we could choose to believe in the Incarnation, in the Eucharist, etc. Most of us become aware -- or remind ourselves often -- that faith itself is a gift from God. The desires to know God, to learn about God, to pray to God are all initiated by him. Even when we feel drawn to pray at a particular moment, we must remember that it is only a response to something that God has done first in our hearts. He is always one step ahead of us.
And today we are reminded that even the fundamental "yes" to follow the Lord -- to choose him as the center of our lives -- is also a mere response on our part. For it is he who has first called us, drawn us, led us to himself. This is a welcome reminder when we begin to feel inadequate or underqualified for some work that comes our way. We remember, in these moments, that the Lord does not call us because we are eminently qualified for some work he has in mind for us; rather, he provides the graces necessary, for those whom he calls, to carry out his work.
Today's Gospel is indeed good news: we are chosen. He has chosen us and called us and he will provide the graces necessary for us to be fruitful. Let us rejoice and be glad: we have been called and chosen. Let us resist the temptation to feel unprepared or discouraged when the Lord asks something of us.
"We must look at what God wants and when we know it, we must try to do it joyfully or, at least, courageously."
St. Francis de Sales