MOST human associations. he they for serious work. entertainment or dispensing charity. have sonic basis for selecting membership.
It may be based on ability. class, wealth, social grace. nationality or colour.
There is a desire to "drays the line somewhere-.
There are certain people who just couldn't belong. who arc excluded by the lack of sonic quality or other not depending very Often on their Free choice but through cir cumstances out of their We arc selective in our human institutions for justi fiable reasons.
Our Lord was not selective in the membership of His society. the Church, but sought members in the highways and byways and some difficult people joined tip.
The Pharisees had a selective mentality. You had to he chosen, predestined by birth and nationality. before you could he a member of God's kingdom.
One of the scandals Our Lord gave them was thc universality of His appeal. His willingness to mix with the publican and sinner and the greatest scandal of all His Praise of the Gentile. Later, His society would extend membership to the Gentiles, the non-Jews.
This was the point that St. Paul emphasised in his epistle in today's Mass, 2nd Sunday in Advent.
God's promises are now made not only to the Jews but also to all the non-Jewish nations. His kingdom is a universal one.
Our experience of the Church. if it is a valid one, will not permit us to think that as Catholics we belong to a select group chosen for Our social or supernatural graces.
We are very much Gentile. Given the necessary act of I ith and moral intention anyone can be a Catholic.
This means that there arc members not at all to our liking. It is not our society but Christ's. He makes the promises and does not seem to he anxious to "draw the tine somewhere".
One of the marks of His Divine mission He mentions 10 the inquisitive disciples of John the Baptist is that. the poor have the gospel preached to them. If our Lord did not draw the line how
• can we ?