Being Chosen

22 January 2008 Tuesday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time
1 Samuel 16, 1-13 Anointing of David

The first reading tells us the story of how God has chosen David to replace Saul. Samuel invited Jesse and his sons to a banquet as the Lord bid him to do. But despite Jesse’s seven sons presented to him, the Lord rejected all of them: “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the Lord sees the heart.” Samuel asked Jesse if he had another son, on which Jesse replied that the youngest was tending sheep. Samuel summoned David, and with the Lord’s indication, anointed him with oil.

Today, being chosen carries with it a privilege. Often, people who have been elected for office, feel entitled to several advantages and benefits. They think that people should accord them the places of honor and pay him their respects.

But the Old Testament notion of being chosen was not about privilege, but about responsibility and sacrifice. It was therefore a humbling experience, wherein the chosen was fully aware of his weakesses, but was still chosen. Garfield once said, “Why me?” Nevertheless, the chosen realized that owed his authority and power from God. His being chosen was meant for service: to receive God’s message and proclaim it to people.

At present, we have many experiences of being chosen --- that is, we can ‘read’ events as God’s act of choice. When we passed entrance exams to UP, we were therefore given the responsibility to serve our country in the spirit and purpose of UP. When you had been personally picked among many job applicants, then you had been given a responsibility according to your job description. When we were baptized, we too were anointed with oil --- giving us to preach the good news as Prophet; to worship the Lord as Priest; to serve God and our fellow human beings as King. Thus, the anointing with chrism at Baptism bestowed on us the roles we are to perform in our lifetime.

However, God specifically calls us to a particular form of service according to our abilities, capabilities and our personalities. There is always a space for each of us in the whole scheme or things. All we have to do is to find them. We can start by considering all your strengths and abilities. Often, God calls us to where we may maximize the use of our talents.

A final word. The first reading ended like this: “From then on, the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.” We call this the grace of office. If one is chosen for a job, believe that the Lord will also give you the grace you need to fulfill your tasks and responsibilities. All you have to be is this: be open to new experiences and grab every opportunity to improve oneself.

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