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An Urgent Invitation

 

When priests and deacons are training, they’re often told: “You’re not chosen because you’re special. You’re special because you’re chosen.” This is a nice way of summing up this weekend’s readings. Isaiah sees the glory of God in a vision.

Peter and his companions have an opportunity to listen to Jesus teaching the crowds and then he shows them a great miracle. Both Isaiah and Peter are overwhelmed with a sense of their unworthiness. But God, for his part, simply ignores their protests. He gently offers them an invitation to share in his work and to bring his message of salvation to others. They accepted and—as the old saying goes—“The rest is history.” Both Isaiah and the first Apostles found that, in spite of their human failings, God gave them the power to do amazing good. Countless Christian saints down the ages—clergy, religious and lay people—have made the same decision and seen the same results. God always empowers those who answer his call. In this weekend’s Pastoral Letter, Bishop Seamus reminds us that God has given the same invitation to each and every one of us. We might protest our unworthiness. We might be able to think of any number of practical reasons why, even if we try to respond, we won’t be able to do any good. God will never force us to do anything. But, if we open our hearts and “put out into the deep” as he asks, he’ll make sure we’re pleasantly surprised.

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