God Called Us to Follow Him Despite Our Unworthiness

02-06-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp.

Today’s liturgy focuses on God’s call, which comes in different situations, circumstances and backgrounds. In each of the calls we heard today, there is the divine invitation to respond to God with openness the way we are and not as we think or as would want to be. Hence, the three readings and the three figures we encounter in today’s liturgy demonstrates that God does not consider our perceived unworthiness and sinfulness before He calls us. Our response should be to say “here I am and ready to do your will”. Our unworthiness does not constitute an obstacle to God as He does not look for our weakness, but rather to our desire to follow Him wherever He leads us.

Isaiah in the first reading says that “Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips.” While St. Paul in the second reading says “For I am the least of the apostles not fit to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God”. Peter in the Gospel “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man”. Do not be afraid of your own sinfulness.

These responses represent equally often our own response when we hear God calling us for something. The transformation of Isaiah, Paul and Peter when they said “YES” to God should be the source of strength not to reject God’s invitation for anything He calls us to do. Their responses show how all of them consider themselves unworthy to answer God’s call, but such perceived unworthiness by them did not stop God from calling them. As you must have heard, God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the call. He does not call the strong, but the weak and makes them strong with His grace. In the same way we should not allow our perceived sinfulness or unworthiness prohibit us from following Jesus. Sin or past mistakes can never be undone, only forgiveness and looking forward with hope. “These words invite us to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence”. God is still calling each of us to answer His call even at this moment. He may be calling you now to get more involved with the church activities, or even to lead a group in the church. He may be calling you to evaluate your prayer life or that relationship you have which does not give Him Glory. He may be calling you to be more generous with what you have. The good news is that once we recognize His voice and respond positively, He welcomes us and pours His grace that transforms us and the situation.

In the Gospel passage we see great miracles happen, when we take Jesus in His words and attempt the impossible. Peter knew that the conditions and circumstances of fishing at that very time were not very favorable, but yet he listens to Jesus and was amazed at the great catch of fish. Miracles happen when we resign to God even when it looks impossible and foolish to trust that something positive would happen. In this way, at times certain situations may seem hopeless in our own calculations, but if we step out of the boat, we may be surprised at the success we can make if we do not give in to hopeless situations. God will always surprise us with amazing miracles when we step out with faith and not wait for the conditions to be perfect. God is a God of surprises and impossibilities, let us begin today to take Him on His words and see the amazing things He would accomplish in our lives.

Happy Sunday to you all, as I pray God’s abundant blessings upon you.