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God Wants You!

I don’t know about you, but for many years I thought that it was up to the “holy” people to proclaim God’s message in the world. After all, isn’t it the job of priests and nuns? I remember hearing on a Catholic television show that we should talk about Jesus in the office and shuddered, thinking “I can’t do that”. First of all, nobody would listen and second of all, people would think that I was a nut. Even though I prayed and went to Mass every week, I felt that “normal” people didn’t talk about God in public. While I’m not proud of the way I used to think, I suspect that many people feel the same way. There are also those who would like to proclaim the “Good News”, but don’t feel that they are worthy. There may be some sins in their past or in their present that supposedly render them unworthy to spread God’s message.

In the readings from today’s Mass, the Lord speaks directly to those who feel unqualified or unworthy to proclaim His word. In the First Reading, the prophet Isaiah refers to himself as “a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips” (Is 6:4). He then experiences a vision where an angel purifies his lips and removes his sin. When God asks who He should send to proclaim His message, Isaiah replies “Here I am; Send me” (Is 6:8).

In the Second Reading, St. Paul states, “For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God (that is) with me.” (1 Cor 15:9-10). Despite the fact that he persecuted Christians, God chose St. Paul to preach His message to the Gentiles.

In the Gospel, despite fishing all night and catching nothing, Simon Peter obeys the command of the Lord to “lower his net for a catch”. When he obeys, he and the other fishermen caught a great number of fish. Recognizing that he doubted the Lord, Simon exclaimed, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man” (Lk 5:8). Instead of chastising Simon, the Lord reassures him with the words, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” (Lk 5:10). We are then told that upon returning to the shore, “they left everything and followed Him.” (Lk 5:11)

What we have here are three examples of “unworthy” people who went on to do great things to advance God’s kingdom on earth. In each of these cases, the individuals didn’t do it alone. God intervened and helped them to be successful. All He asked is that they say, “Yes” to His call. The same applies to you and me. The “Good News” desperately needs to be proclaimed today – in the workplace, in our homes, in the streets. Are you worried that you’re not “qualified”? Neither was Isaiah, Paul, Simon Peter, but they trusted that God would help them and provide what they needed. God is calling you to help Him spread the message of the gospel. It can be as simple as offering to pray for someone or speaking about a good sermon that you heard on Sunday. It could involve joining a Christian group on Facebook and showing your friends that your Faith is important to you. Such seemingly “small” actions could go a long way in spreading the kingdom of God, especially when He multiplies your efforts.

Are you ready to say “Yes” and help God spread His message?

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