‘Many are called, few are chosen’

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By Arnold Van Vugt

The Living Spirit

Saturday, August 23, 2014


IN MY last column I spoke about the mystery of God’s calling. In this respect, Christ left us a beautiful parable that illustrates what it means to be called.

He said: Many are called but few are chosen. He is like the king in the parable who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to call the invited guests to attend the party.

But the guests refused to come. They had all kind of excuses that they couldn’t attend the party. Those poor excuses showed their bad faith and their contempt for the king. The king was furious. Then he told his servants: go out into the streets and invite everybody, poor and rich, good and bad alike.

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Then he noticed a man present in the party, not wearing a wedding garment. So he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without the wedding clothes?” But the man remained silent, he had no excuse and didn’t know what to say. Again, this guy was in bad faith.

The point of the parable is: many are called but few are chosen. We are all called to God’s Kingdom but we must have the proper disposition to answer His call. It is our own fault if we are not chosen. We have to love the Lord with our whole heart and our neighbors as ourselves. The love of God is freely given. We must be ready to accept His gift.

In my opinion, the Catholic Church is in many ways not open to the mystery of God’s love. Too often the Church is obsessed with authority and dogmatic doctrines. Examples are: no married priests in the Church, no same-sex couples, no gay marriage. On this last point, I agree. Don’t call that a marriage, because a marriage is a union between a man and a woman for procreation.

But why can the Church not give its blessing to two men who want to form a union and really love each other? If they are homosexuals, it is not their fault. There is nothing wrong with that. They have been born that way.

The Church says: homosexuality is an objective disorder. I don’t believe that God creates disorders. And besides that, how many priests and bishops are clearly gay. Why can they enter the priesthood but they cannot enter a love relationship? That is very inconsistent, unless they have a promise to remain a celibate. Is the priesthood more sacred than marriage? And then there is that notion that by allowing gay marriage, the secular world has somehow stolen our word ‘marriage.’ I always think that once we have spoken, or written, a word, we lose control of how it is thereafter used and applied. This leaves us pushing the idea that God would somehow disapprove. Yet there is the absence of any clear condemnation of homosexuality from the lips of Jesus in the gospels.

So, I tend to return to the notion of a God of love who made each and every one of us as we are, with love, and with the potential to love. And since two male friends so often manifestly love each other and prove it over the years, through thick and thin, I can assume that God is smiling down on the proceeding of a gay marriage or a church blessing on a gay-union. Clearly, they may be called and chosen

***

Email: nolvanvugt@gmail.com

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 24, 2014.

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