We are chosen
Chosen before the world began
Chosen in Christ
Chosen in Christ to be holy and spotless
Chosen to live through love
Chosen to live in his presence
Chosen from the beginning
Chosen to be for God’s greater glory
Chosen to be the people who would put their hopes in Christ
I think Paul is trying to tell us something.
This feast celebrates the choosing of Mary to mother the child of God. And it poses a puzzle. Mary is chosen yet she is free to choose. Her ‘amen’, her ‘let it be’, has to be a free response. She could just as well have said ‘no thank you’. Why did she say ‘yes’? God must have been taking a risk. Or was God stacking the odds in his favour by arranging for Mary to be born sinless? Who’s choice is the more important: God’s or Mary’s?
Our opening prayer deepens the mystery. How is Mary kept from sin but by the salvation Christ will win only if she says yes? The future reaches back to write the past and make the present possible. It makes my brain ache.
I guess I’m getting hung up on sin and freedom. I think I have swallowed the modern myth that freedom means doing what I want to do—its ultimate expression saying no. And I think I’ve fallen for the lie that being good is dull, that holiness restricts my options, that the forbidden fruit is the juiciest.
So this feast is a celebration of choice: God’s choice and our own. We are chosen and free to choose, freer than ever to choose. Free with a freedom that can say ‘yes’ as well as ‘no’. Free to live through love in his presence. Free to be for the greater glory of God. Free to choose what we most desire.