ColumnsDisciple’s Corner

‘Into His Likeness,’ Chapter 5: Not perfect, but chosen

As I read the title of this chapter, I thought, well I sure fit the first part, I am anything but perfect. And then I began to contemplate my “choseness.”

As women, we are bombarded, from a very early age, with the message of “perfection” and that our perfection lies in beauty. You need the perfectly shaped body, perfect hair, perfect smile and plastic surgery to make you “perfect.” But that is not the perfection that Jesus is looking for; Jesus chose fishermen, common, everyday men, even tax collectors — each imperfect.

[ms-protect-content id=”1339,323,1059,1325,324,257,322,6459″]

As I looked at my own life, which is far from perfect, I became more comfortable with the idea that perhaps I too was chosen. Reading “The Lives of the Saints,” especially about St. Augustine, we learn a multitude of people were chosen to be saints, with imperfect lives, imperfect bodies. Now that should give us great hope! Pope Benedict XVI states: “The saints have not ‘fallen from Heaven.’ They are people like us, who also have complicated problems.” We are a work in progress, and thankfully, the saints were human too. We are not perfect, but we too are chosen. The Gospels report the apostles’ consistent fears, misunderstandings, failures and weaknesses — imperfect. Sound familiar?

So what am I “chosen” for? What have you been “chosen” for? You and I are chosen for a mission that only we can fulfill. As a seamstress/tailor, Jesus has come closer into my daily life. I find myself praying over these garments that need mending or altering. And when complimented on the repair, I respond with, “No, the real thanks goes to Jesus as he gave me this skill. He helped me to solve the problem.” My “choseness” is to reveal how Jesus works in my life, to show the gratitude that belongs to him, to know I am not perfect and to not be afraid to let others know my imperfection.

When Jesus says, “Abide in me and I in you” (John 15:4), it is a gift from Christ to dwell within us. The church calls this sanctifying grace. This grace enables me to live and to love supernaturally, far beyond my own little imperfect human nature. And isn’t that what Jesus chose us for? To live our lives in agape love? Yes, we are going to fail, but we are also going to reconcile, ask for forgiveness and the courage to start anew. You can do this by waking up early for prayer, forgiving a hurt, holding your temper and putting up with an annoying habit of another. Oh, and the list goes on and on! Yes, we are imperfect, but praise be to God, we have been chosen!

How can you find your choseness? How can you find an opportunity to show your love for Jesus and bear your cross?

 Julie Vulk has been an active member of St. Benedict Parish, Decorah, for 22 years. She serves on pastoral council, as an accompanist/cantor/choir member, Bible study facilitator, a small group leader for Evangelical Catholic and committee member for Beauty in Christ Women’s Conference. Julie has been married to Greg for 36 years, with six children and 15 grandchildren. Julie completed IMPACT in 2017.

The Disciple’s Corner is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s Office of Faith Formation and Education and is funded through the Archdiocesan Educational Development Board. It is designed to help catechists, teachers, parents, grandparents, guardians and other adults grow in their appreciation of their role as disciples of Jesus Christ.