By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Choice by Which We Live

This week's provincial election is all the talk around here in Alberta. What has left many people astonished is the choice made by the people of an entirely new government. The one political party that had dominated provincial politics for more than forty years has been decimated and replaced by another. For this reason many are drawing attention to the change introduced into this province's history by the choice made on election day.

In the democratic sphere, governments depend upon the choice of the people, and the exercise of that choice can bring about change, at times unexpected and astounding. In the ambit of faith, we recognize our dependence upon choice at a deeper, and far more important level. Humanity exists because of a choice made by God to create us. Humanity's history was changed - dramatically, astoundingly and irrevocably - by God's choice to re-create us in His Son (cf Ephesians 1: 4-5).

Political choice is made either on the basis of merit (I judge this candidate to be worthy of my vote) or party loyalty. Hopefully the two coincide! God's choice of us, however, has nothing to do with the former, but is an expression of divine fidelity. In no way can we merit to be saved by God; we cannot earn salvation. God's choice of us arises from his love, pure and simple. That love finds expression in his fidelity to the promises he made to save the world in the gift of His Son. God is love; God is faithful. This is the basis of the choice he has made to create and redeem us.

We live by this choice. It is truly astounding, because we know we are unworthy. We know our sinfulness, weakness, infidelity and so on. Yet the astonishing truth remains: God loves us unconditionally and will never take back his choice to make us his children in Christ.

In the midst of all the political analysis of Tuesday's choice of a new government, let us not fail to reflect with humility, gratitude and joy on the choice made from all eternity by our all-loving, all-powerful and all-merciful God - the choice to give us life.