Eph 1:1-10 / Lk 11:47-54
There are few concepts in the Old Testament that are repeated more often than that the Jews were God’s chosen people. That sense of Jewish specialness in God’s eyes pervades every single one of the sacred books, and it gave the Jews great comfort not only in their glory days, but in the days when they were in exile.
Yet this conviction of being chosen had its down side. It caused the Jews to deem their non-Jewish neighbors as relatively worthless in God’s eyes and as being mere stick figures on the great stage of history where the Jews stood always at the center, no matter what. The book of Jonah was a biting satire on this ethno-centrism, but it seems to have had little effect.
What St. Paul understood so clearly and then taught the rest of the Church in those very early days is that in Christ we are all chosen and special to God. From the very beginning God has intended that every last one of us should be set free from slavery to sin and death and should share in His life.
Realizing that we are truly chosen ought to give us a whole new way of thinking both about ourselves and about our neighbors. Reverence for one another is the word that comes to mind. Are we truly revering our brothers and sisters as God’s chosen ones?