Easter Week 5: Friday

“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” (John 15:16)

Saint Augustine of Hippo offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you.” That is amazing grace! For what were we before Christ had chosen us besides being wicked and lost? We did not believe in him, so as to be chosen by him. For if he chose those who already believed, then he was [in effect] chosen himself prior to his choosing [them]. This passage refutes the vain opinion of those who say that we were chosen before the foundation of the world because God foreknew that we should be good, not that he himself would make us good. For if he had chosen us because he foreknew that we should be good, he would have foreknown also that we should first choose him. For without choosing him we cannot be good, unless indeed someone can be called good who has not chosen good. What then has he chosen in those who are not good? You cannot say, I am chosen because I believed. For if you believed in him, you had already chosen him. Nor can you say, Before I believed I did good works and therefore was chosen. For what good work is there before faith when the apostle says, “Whatever is not of faith is sin”? What is there for us to say, then, but that we were wicked and were chosen, that by the grace of having been chosen we might become good?” (Tractates on the Gospel of John, 86)

Easter Collect
Grant us, Lord, we pray,
that, being rightly conformed to the paschal mysteries,
what we celebrate in joy
may protect and save us with perpetual power.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is risen! Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!