Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.”
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
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.
This I command you: love one another.”
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you. This was the gospel reading today. David emphasized this line in both the text and in the homily. After church, I knew that I wanted to spend some time with this gospel, with this one line in particular. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you. This idea of being chosen, of being selected out of the billions of people on this earth to be a priest, to serve in such a powerful way, has struck me deeply today. My ordination date is set for February 2, 2013. It’s not that far away. I’ll only be home from India for two and a half months. I leave for India in less than a month, and I know those six months will fly by. Before I know it, I’ll be putting on my alb and being given a dalmatic and stole, symbols of the office to which I have been chosen. I will stand before God, in front of my church community, my family, and my friends, and I will take my vows as a transitional deacon.
I will do this not because it is what I want (though I do want it), but because it is what I am meant to do. It is where I am meant to be. Five years ago, you couldn’t have told me what I’d be doing right now, what my life would be like. I simply wouldn’t be able to believe it. Yet here I am. I left my home, my family, my friends, my partner, and I came to Baltimore. There I found a tiny church community worshiping in a way that whispered into my heart that very first day “you are home.” That whisper continued and has grown to a shout, where I could not ignore it if I wanted to. I AM HOME. I have been chosen, and I accept. Your will be done, oh God. Your will be done.