HOMILY & IDEAS

Is 6:41-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11.

This week my thoughts have been occupied by call stories. Last week we heard the call of Jeremiah. This week we hear the call of Isaiah and Peter. Further, this week St. Paul makes an allusion to the unworthiness of his apostleship because of his sinful actions before his call (The persecution of Christians).

Here we have a group of people who claim to be too young, too foul mouthed, too unworthy, and too wretched to be called to do anything for God whatsoever -- and two of them were common laborers: Peter the fisherman and Paul the tent maker.

One might ask -- Why these guys? What was God thinking?

Well, it is really nothing new for God. Old Abraham is made a new father; young David is made a king, slow tongued Moses takes on Pharaoh, and a young, lowly Jewish girl gives birth to our savior.

It is clear that God does what God wills.

Mary may have been sinless; however the cast of characters that God has chosen throughout salvation history to be his instruments of justice, mercy, love and compassion have been colorful, earthy individuals.

Still, we often do ourselves the disservice -- and Satan loves this gimmick -- of consistently disqualifying ourselves from ever considering ourselves to be called by God to be his instruments. We may understand intellectually that God has chosen many people like ourselves to be his workers; but it ends there. Spiritually we lower our heads, walk into the darkness, and jump on the ever-revolving merry-go-round of unworthiness that never stops for the hope of being called.

We may say to ourselves -- Where is my burning ember to purify my mouth? Where is my vision? Where is my voice from God? Where is my miraculous conversion moment? All these folks were called in a really big way. Where is my big call? A big call wipes out unworthiness. Wrong.

Over these many postings I have mentioned a handful of key, foundational blocks that I am convinced need to be in place in order to feel loved by and connected to God.

One of them is seeing oneself as an instrument of the love and goodness of God.

Here is how it works for me: God is love. God gives us all good things.

If you buy those two premises -- and I wholeheartedly do -- then it follows that anytime we have an impulse to love or do something good, then we recognize that it comes from God.

The impulse comes from God, the love comes from God, the good things come from God.

The impulse declares us called. The love and goodness flows through us as instruments.

Every tugging, pulling, pushing, and little voice in ones head prompting to do something beautiful for another person is a call.

Every prompting to share something good is a call.

We are sinners. We are characters. Yet, we are still called. We are still instruments. God does what God wills.

If we get stuck in the rut of thinking -- I do these loving actions simply because I am a mother, father, wife, husband, family member, caregiver, teacher, mentor, CEO, nurse, doctor, social worker, etc., and these actions are just expected of me, then we dismiss from where these impulses come from and from where the source of all love flows -- God.

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