Our Scripture readings today are as much about humility as they are about God calling us to step up and do whatever he has planned for our life.
The 1st Reading is about the call of Isaiah. His first response to the Lord was “why me” – my lips are unclean. The 2nd Reading and Gospel are about the apostles, Peter and Paul, who Jesus called to carry on his message and ministry. Peter says “why me?”- for I am a sinful man. Paul says he, too, is sinful – “the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” In spite of their past, God had a plan for each of them, and used those three, humble men to alter the course of history.
Just who are the Isaiahs, the Peters, and the Pauls in our society today? When God wants to send a message of love to the outcasts of this world, who will say “Here I am; send me!” When God wants someone to speak out in the halls of government against injustice, who will say “Here I am; send me!” When people march out to war, violence, and bigotry and God needs someone to march in the opposite direction with a message of peace, who will be his messenger and say “Here I am, send me!” As our world suffers from the ill effects of the evils and unfairness we’ve caused, and the Church offers a way out through its social teaching of justice and human dignity, who will be Jesus’ apostles to bring that message to the world? Who will jump up and say “Here I am, Lord; send me!”
During a radio message in 1978, Pope John Paul I said, “My brothers and sisters—all people of the world! We are all obliged to work to raise the world to a condition of greater justice, more stable peace, more sincere cooperation. Therefore, we ask and beg all—from the humblest who are the connective fibers of nations to heads of state responsible for each nation—to work for a new order, one more just and honest… We open ourselves with great trust to the assistance of the Lord, who, having called us to be his representative on earth, will not leave us without his all-powerful grace.”
As Christians, we are called to work for the good of every human being. God will give us the grace to stand up for those suffering from bullying, poverty, loneliness, and living in fear. To step up and be humble, virtuous leaders at work and school, in the community, and especially in the family. And to continue the work of Jesus by spreading his message of peace and salvation for all. Thousands of years ago, God called Isaiah, Peter, and Paul to carry on this message. Each thought they were not good enough to do what God needed done. But, they responded anyway and changed the world.
Who will God call to do his work today? Just whom will God send? Will it be YOU?