As we come to a deeper knowledge of the free will of man, we realize clearer and clearer, that the ability to make rational decisions distinguishes us from animals, so predestination cannot eliminate free will. If it did, we would no longer be human. What, then, is predestination, father? Well, Predestination is God's choice to share his love with us.
St. Paul tells the Romans –and us of course- that we are called to share the image of the Son of God. By sharing this image we are justified, raised up to God, and glorified. To put all this simply: we are predestined to share God's goodness, but we have the freedom to reject this goodness.
More practically: we cannot go around blaming the things that happen in our life to fate. Fate is a pagan expression and a pagan concept. Nor can we blame the devil, “the devil made me do it". We have to take responsibility for our own actions. Even if something negative happens to us beyond our control, like sickness, we have the ability to use this situation to be closer to our Lord.
The knowledge of what God is calling us to; the understanding of what is true and good, right and wrong; all of this is Wisdom, the topic of the first reading.
The Old Testament developed the notion of wisdom as the understanding one gains of oneself, the world and one's place in the Divine Plan for mankind. Wisdom is knowing who we are. Jesus is the Wisdom of God for us, for we become whom God has called us to be by uniting ourselves to his Son. Each of us is very different from everyone else who ever lived. As we come to a deeper knowledge of whom we are, we come to a deeper knowledge of what God wants us to be. Wisdom is understanding God's individual predestination for us.
When we know ourselves and our God, when we understand our talents and our limitations, we recognize God's love for us as individuals. When we realize what God's position in this world is for each of us, we have found the pearl of great price. We know how to respond to God's call with our very being, our very personhood. When we come to a deeper understanding of what God wants from us as individual people with unique personalities, then we have no choice but to sell everything we have and go and buy the field, for we have found a priceless treasure. Nothing can be more valuable than living our God's unique call to us.
Wisdom, predestination, and the Christian life. Our readings for today give us just a clue of the profound love the Lord has for us. What a Savior we have in Jesus! ■
 Sunday 27th July, 2008, 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Readings: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12. Lord, I love your commands—Ps 118(119):57, 72, 76-77, 127-130. Romans 8:28-30. Matthew 13:44-52.
 Many Greek legends and tales teach the futility of trying to outmaneuver an inexorable fate that has been correctly predicted. This form of irony is important in Greek tragedy, as it is in Oedipus Rex and the Duque de Rivas' play that Verdi transformed into La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") or Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey, or in Macbeth's uncannily-derived knowledge of his own destiny, which in spite of all his actions does not preclude a horrible fate.