Peace to you!
We have been reflecting the last few weeks on a kind of process through which God calls people and the encounter changes their lives forever. Soon afterward, they become disciples. A few weeks ago we heard Samuel’s story and how he had to learn how to listen and discern that God sometimes calls in the night when we are not so occupied with daily activity or when there is darkness or emptiness in our lives.
Isaiah explains how terrified he is at his vision of the “Lord of Hosts.” He acknowledges that he is unworthy to be in the presence of God and fears death but the angel calms his fears by cleansing him. Isaiah experiences God’s mercy and it changes him forever! Filled with holy joy and loving zeal, he responds to God’s call “here I am, send me!”
St. Paul expresses something similar to Isaiah’s sense of personal unworthiness and we remember the story of his encounter with the risen Lord. St. Paul was changed by his encounter and responded to God’s call in the same way as Isaiah: filled with holy joy, he was sent to proclaim the Good News!
This weekend we hear the story of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew, James and John. Jesus invites them to leave their boats and nets to follow him and become fishers of men. Like Isaiah and Saul, Peter was immediately seized with fear and in response to that Jesus immediately calmed him with the words “Do not be afraid.” Like Isaiah and the others, Peter’s life was forever changed.
The call stories are always interesting and powerful for us because they help us focus on listening and following God in new and deeper ways. They also remind us that, like others in the past, God is calling us today! He calls us to follow him closely and experience something new, of how wonderful he is and through that experience to be changed forever. It is normal to feel a little uncertain or afraid at first but with each new experience, our faith that Lord is at our side grows. God bless you in your journey and mission to join our ancestors in faith in the joy of proclaiming the Gospel! +++ Fr. Peter