Grace to you!
In today’s reflection, I share one of the most encouraging truths about God’s relationship with us. God chooses and commissions the sinner, the imperfect like you and me, for the incredible work of grace.
You may have met people who have had a special encounter with the Lord. It could be the devout woman who is your next-door neighbor, the pastor of your church who is living an exemplary spiritual life or your friend whose commitment to the Lord is amiable. Listening to their story is fascinating. Yet we notice that in their story, we may find one aspect or another of ourselves.
You will notice that the closer one is to the Lord, the more evident one’s weaknesses become. The called and chosen of the Lord aren’t people who fall from the skies and are dotted with the perfection of the angels. They aren’t individuals who never indulged or used bad language. Neither are they people who never had the temptation to exaggerate, play pranks or deal with lustful and prideful passions. They aren’t people who never missed their prayers and always behaved in a way that is and is seen as complete integrity. In fact, some of them were a mess just like many of us are. They were mired with the mud of human brokenness and smelled the dirt of imperfections smeared all over their body through their indiscretions.
Once I told someone that when your weaknesses as a person become more evident to you, you know you are truly making headway in your spiritual life. Our weaknesses are evident to us when God is closest. The farther away we are from God, the more we assume we are perfect.
On earth, God’s best friends are sinners. The Lord came to call the sinner not the righteous (Mk 2:17; Lk 5:32). In the same way, the Lord calls and chooses those who are attuned to his redeeming grace. It is those who recognize that God is holy, and I am not. God is perfect, I am not perfect.
This reality is evident in the biblical stories of the call of the prophets to the call of the apostles. Indeed, those called and chosen are people who realize that it is by the grace of God that we can have a relationship with God. From the call of Isaiah, to the call of Peter and Paul, the story is consistent.
Isaiah saw a glimpse of the Lord’s glory and holiness. This is a sharp contrast to his own weaknesses, for the light of the glory of the Lord shines upon us and we see our own dark spots. Fully aware of his own weaknesses, Isaiah cried: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lordof hosts!” (Is 6:5).
Same with the call of Simon the fisherman. Simon (Peter), the one called and chosen to be the leader of the Church, wasn’t perfect either. When he met Jesus by the Sea of Galilee, he saw his unworthiness, fell at the knees of Jesus and said: “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man” (Lk 5:8).
St. Paul’s recount of his call by the Lord Jesus in 1Cor 15 equally acknowledges his weakness and the supremacy of God’s grace in his calling. “By the grace of God” he said, “I am what I am” (1Cor 15:10). He was referring to the choice made of him by the Lord to be an apostle though he was unworthy of it.
There are numerous examples like these in the Bible. So, don’t suppose that because of your weaknesses God can’t use you to bless his people. In fact, you are the right candidate for God’s call. Always remember the saying “God does not call the perfect but perfects the called.”
Praying that we will be attuned to the call of God’s grace as it stirs our hearts to respond to the invitation to follow the Lord in the way of righteousness. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
[Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Is 6: 1-2a, 3-8; 1Cor 15:1-11 or15:3-8, 11; Lk 5:1-11]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.