Before the Foundation of the World…
Be thankful for we were chosen before the foundation of the world to be members of His flock:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. –Ephesians 1:3-4, NAB
Christ is our Shepherd, and we are His flock. Today’s verse reflects that we are chosen by God to be set apart from the flock, just as the spotless animals were set apart for sacrifice in the Old Testament.
God has known, long before He created us, who would eventually stand out from His flock. He has chosen us, but we must choose Him in return, as well. Here, we see the intersection of God’s will and our free will. It is God’s will that we are saved, yet we must choose to accept it.
We are sinners by nature; therefore, we cannot be “holy and without blemish” without the grace of Jesus Christ. God sets us apart as His flock, and then we must live holy lives by offering ourselves as living sacrifices to Christ.
How do we offer ourselves as living sacrifices to Christ? First, we must accept the grace being freely offered to us by God through His Son. Then, we must live out our Christian vocations in our daily lives, following the teachings and commandments of Christ.
Our all-knowing, all-powerful God has chosen us before the foundation of the world to be His flock, and we, the sheep, must choose to follow our Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Christ offered His life as a sacrifice to save us, and we must offer our lives as a living sacrifice to Him in return.