When God calls, answer: ‘Here I am, send me’

By Msgr. William Carr

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 6:1-2,3-8; I Corinthians 15:1-11; and Luke 5:1-11
From all eternity, God knew you! From all eternity, he planned to create you! From all eternity, he called you to be perfect as he is perfect!
Everyone of us has a call from God to be a saint. Everyone of us has a call from God to serve him in a way which is unique: No other human being who will ever live will ever be able to give God the specific honor and glory that you, in your uniqueness can!
Sunday we reflect on our individual and specific call from God. What does God want you to do with your life? To know this and to follow it is the only way you’ll ever be happy in this life and in the next!
The first reading of Mass tells of the call of Isaiah. The scene is the splendor of God’s glory in the Temple. Isaiah protests that he is a sinner; God cleanses his sin, and asks whom he will send. Isaiah answers what we must answer: “Here I am, send me!”

Paul had been a terrible persecutor of the Church. Yet God called him to conversion of heart. Paul was unworthy, but God called him to be an apostle. Paul recognizes his sinfulness, but says that God’s grace can do anything…. even make him an apostle.
The Gospel tells of the call of Peter. We can hardly imagine a less likely person to be an apostle. He had hoof in mouth disease. He was impetuous. He was dense. He was good at fishing, but little else. He asks the Lord to leave him alone, for he is a sinner. Yet Jesus calls him to be a “fisher of men.”
Reflect on your own personal call from God. Especially today reflect and pray about our need for young men to respond to Christ’s call to his priesthood. Jesus Christ is calling some from this very parish to be priests.
Pray that they will have the strength to answer his call. May they — and all of us — answer God’s call as Isaiah did: “Here I am, send me!” What are our excuses for not doing God’s work? Lack of talent? Sinfulness? Weakness? The Lord won’t allow our excuses. He forgives. He empowers. He enables us to do things beyond our natural abilities. Don’t refuse him.

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 17:5-8; I Corinthians 15:12,16-20; and Luke 6:17,20-26
Don’t blame anyone but yourself. You have free will. You can choose which way your life will go. If you choose the way of God, you will find happiness, even though you may be required to sacrifice. If you choose the way of this world, you will find misery, even though you may experience some pleasures. You are not a machine; you are a person. You are not a slave of your DNA or of your environment. You can’t blame your misery on chemical imbalance or parents or dysfunction in your primary society. You can’t blame it on the devil or on others. All kinds of factors influence your life, but YOU are in charge! You can say yes, or you can say no.
Sunday’s Mass challenges us to choose the way of life. We may have been dealt a raw deal in life, but we can choose to follow the way of the Lord. You will be happy if you realize your need of God, if you are sorry for your sins, if you hunger for virtue, and if you are willing to sacrifice to obtain goodness.
You will find misery if you put your trust in the wealth and pleasures of this world, if you are content with creature comforts and are unwilling to sacrifice for virtue, if you are so flippant now that you overlook your eternal goal of life.
What is the direction of your life? If you are on the wrong track, turn around! You can change; you can choose the right!