Called

Today’s Readings

Jesus said, “Many are called, few are chosen.”

In the parable of the trees (no it’s not from J.R. Tolkien),  Jotham shouts from the roof top (literally Mount Gerizim) so that every citizen of Shechem hears him (Judges 9:6-15).

“Once the trees went to anoint a king over themselves.
So they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’
But the olive tree answered them, ‘Must I give up my rich oil,
whereby men and gods are honored,
and go to wave over the trees?’
Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come; you reign over us!’
But the fig tree answered them,
Must I give up my sweetness and my good fruit,
and go to wave over the trees?’
Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come you, and reign over us.’
But the vine answered them,
Must I give up my wine that cheers gods and men,
and go to wave over the trees?'”

In Jesus’ kingdom, “giving up” is the price of admission. Jesus asked the rich young man to give up his possessions. Sadly, as Jesus predicted, “Many are called, few are chosen” he tore up his admission ticket.

In the parable of the vineyard workers, Jesus teaches us about our calling. Jesus set aside the privileges of heaven to obey His Father. Peter, Andrew, James and John gave up their fishing enterprise. The Apostle Paul left the ranks of the Pharisees.

A person who says YES to Jesus’call at the five o’clock hour may have a smaller impact on God’s kingdom than the Apostle Paul. Our impact is not our call, it’s God’s. As Jesus said, “Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” I am sure Matthew, the former tax collector and enemy number one, as he wrote his gospel, breathed a hearty AMEN.

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