Chapters 10, 11, and 12 of the Gospel of St. Matthew are called the Mission Discourses. At the beginning of Chapter 10, the Lord organizes a select group of people who will carry out his mission of proclaiming that the reign of God is at hand. The Lord chooses 12 ordinary, simple people to carry out His mission.
There were theologians at that time, experts in the Bible. There were teachers of the Bible called the Scribes who taught in the synagogues. There were priests offering sacrifices in the temple. There were, so to speak, university professors, scientists, and scholars.
But the Lord did not choose anybody from among them. The Lord, instead, chose ordinary, simple people. Men with rough hands because they were not educated, and they were not prepared for life. Simple men. Ordinary men. The Lord called them, first and foremost, because they knew the meaning of being ordinary. They knew the meaning of being weak.
Come to think of it, the Lord chooses us not because we are special, not because we have donated 10,000 pesos to the Mt. Pinatubo victims. The Lord chooses us not because we go to Mass or pray the rosary everyday. The Lord does not choose us because we read the Bible and attend weekly Charismatic meetings. The Lord chooses us not because of those things. If he has any reason at all it is that we are weak.
When we are weak, the spirit of God works a lot within us. Then it becomes evident that we are able to accomplish and do things, not because we are experts; not because we are learned but because the spirit of God is at work in us. Our going to Mass daily may convince us that we are holy. Our spiritual exercises, our donations, our acts of service, our outreach programs may convince us that we are very good Catholics.
“This kind of thinking is the back door through which the devil Enters. That back door is called self-righteousness. That back door is called “convincing myself that I am holy.”
My dear brothers and sisters, after we have given our very best in the apostolate after we have given our very best in our Christian life, we can only say, “I am still a weak Christian.”
Let us recognize that we are weak. As St. Paul says, “When I am weak, then I am strong with the strength of God.” (2 Cor 12:10) Let us pray for humility. Let us pray that we be delivered from self-righteousness.
CHOSEN IN SPITE OF
Only Jesus, Always Jesus