In today’s second reading, Saint Paul speaks about spiritual blessings, grace, favor, being chosen and destined. In this epistle often called the queen of all the epistles, written to a community where he probably spent the longest time of his ministry, Paul is in complete awe of the sheer loveliness of the Christian life and the sheer undeserved generosity of the heart of God. Like nobody else, Paul realizes that the grace of God is something impossible to gain for ourselves, and something we could not possibly earn or deserve. He had such vivid awareness of these spiritual blessings, past, present and future, that he prayed that we too may have our minds eyes enlightened by God, so that we may see the glory associated with being called and chosen. Amos, in the first reading, and the twelve apostles in the gospel, were witnesses to this experience of the divine privilege of being called, chosen and destined. With total confidence and trust in who has called and sent him on a mission to the city of Bethel and its people, Amos was able to stand up to the priest Amaziah and indeed prevailed against all odds. The apostles too, backed by the insurmountable authority of the master, were able to confront and cast out demons and unclean spirits. In doing so, they remained loyal to the instructions of the master which guided them every step of the way. By virtue of our baptism, Christians are both prophets and apostles. We are ambassadors called, chosen and sent into the world for the praise of the glory of His grace. We are called to shine that bright light of his love throughout the world; to dispel the darkness of evil and to replace it with the gentle radiance of His love. As long as we remain committed to doing His will, His help will forever be assured. Let us, like Saint Paul, open our hearts in gratitude to him who has continued to bless us with an abundance of His grace, and to resolve to work always for the praise of His glorious name. To him be all the glory forever and ever. Amen.