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Friday, 08 February 2019 17:09

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2019

Written by Fr Prakash Menezes SVD

Readings: Isaiah 6:1-2,3-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11

Here I Am, Send Me

Fr Prakash Menezes SVD 150The willing response of Isaiah “Here I am, send me,” helps us reflect on our own response to God’s call. The call, to follow God’s will, is always present. How do I respond? Time to reflect on this question indeed! 

Though Isaiah says the above response, it does come after a bit of persuasion by God. The first reaction of Isaiah was one of unworthiness: “I am a man of unclean lips” he says, “What a wretched state I am in! I am lost.” He feels he is not ready to respond to God’s call. 

Usually, this is my reaction too: I am an unworthy person, I am not worthy to do this work, I am not capable of speaking up, I am not strong enough, I am nervous and so on and so forth! I am sure, these were the same reactions of the characters in our readings for today. Each one of the characters, be it Prophet Isaiah or St Paul or the Apostles of Jesus, felt ‘unworthy’ to respond to God’s call initially. They might have been afraid of what lies ahead of them. The questions of what they would be doing, what would be the challenges, where they might be going, would have paralysed their thinking. But God takes charge: “Do not be afraid,” says Jesus to his first disciples. The grace of God that is with me is working harder, says St Paul. “Your sin is taken away, your iniquity is purged,” say the Angel to Prophet Isaiah. The words of assurance transform the fear of the disciples. The grace of God encourages St Paul to continue his mission of spreading the good news of God’s love. The purification gesture strengthens Isaiah to respond, “Here I am, send me.”

The overwhelming response of these characters, in our readings today, encourage us to get out of our shell and open ourselves to listen to God’s call. We have an assurance that God is with us, so we don’t need to be afraid. We know that the grace of God is always present in us and is working hard to make us strong in our commitment to God’s mission. We are purified by God’s touch and are given the ability to express our thoughts and feelings to the people around us. 

Therefore, though we feel unworthy, God makes us worthy. Though we feel weak, God makes us strong. Though we feel insignificant, God makes significant. And let us always remember, God has created us and each one of us are unique with our own strengths and weaknesses. Let us look at our strengths, and work on our weaknesses and through our life give glory to God.