Jesus said that “it was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you” (John 15:16). This means that when we compare our own actions to God’s actions, our deeds pale in comparison, like a candle beside the sun. What God is doing is of far greater impact than anything that we might choose to do. This teaching should not make us neglectful of our own actions, but rather see them in their proper context.
The first aspect of that context is gratitude. Since our discipleship is due more to the grace of God than to our own decisions, we feel a sense of gratitude for the gift that was freely given to us. The second aspect of that context is trust. If God has chosen to reach out to us, despite our unworthiness, and bring us into his friendship, then we can trust Him to act generously and mercifully with us in the future.
To live out of those feelings of gratitude and trust: that is the Christian vocation. Grateful for what we have been given, and trusting God and His Church to guide us, we will easily fulfill the second part of the verse quoted at the beginning of this reflection: “go and bear fruit that will remain” (John 15:16).