A Reflection on the Scripture Readings for Sunday, February 10th, 2013
Posted by: Larry T
The Scripture readings for this Sunday direct our attention to God’s call to the Prophet Isaiah, Saint Peter, and Saint Paul.
The Call of Isaiah. When God needed a prophet to speak to the Israelites, He looked down from heaven and tapped Isaiah, a Hebrew aristocrat, on the shoulder.
God might have said, “Isaiah, son of Amoz, I need a prophet.”
Flushing at the recognition of his own shortcomings Isaiah might have thought, Yahweh I am not worthy. Surely there is someone else more suited to the task.
“Isaiah, I want you to speak to my people.”
5Then I said, “Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 He touched my mouth with it. “See,” he said, “now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!” – Isaiah 6:5-8 (NAB)
The Call of Saint Peter. When Jesus needed a leader for His church He selected an ordinary fisherman.
Jesus might have said, “Simon Peter, I want you to be the head of my Church.”
Studying the tops of his sandaled feet, Simon might have thought, Lord - me - head of your Church. I’m just a run of the mill fisherman, you can’t mean me, choose someone else. Besides that, my name isn’t Simon Peter.
“Simon Peter, I choose you.”
7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” – Luke 5:7-8 (NAB)
The Call of Saint Paul. When Jesus needed a great evangelist and theologian He chose the most unlikely person of all, a zealous Pharisee who was breathing murderous threats against His disciples.
Jesus might have said, “Saul, I need an evangelist.”
Imagine Saul’s bewilderment. Flat on his back and wondering who tripped him, he might have thought, Jesus you’ve made a really big mistake. The boys back in Jerusalem are going to have a good laugh over this!
“Saul, I choose you.”
8 Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God (that is) with me.
11 Therefore, whether it be I or they, so we preach and so you believed. – 1 Corinthians 15:8-11 (NAB)
God’s Call to Us. God called the Prophet Isaiah, Saint Peter, and Saint Paul to service. He has called me as well. What have I been asked to participate in? Jesus calls me to help build up His Church. God expects all of His people to serve Him. (Romans 12:1-20 NAB) Sometimes He selects common folks for special service as He did with Saint Peter. What about me?
What about ordinary Catholics? How can we serve Him? Should we become sacristans, lectors, or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion? If we feel called to those ministries, the answer is yes. We might also serve as greeters, ushers, serve on parish committees, or even help clean our churches.
On this day, and every day what can I do to help build up our Lord’s Church? Is having spiritual love for my Christian brothers and sisters, is recognizing and rejoicing over the work of the Holy Spirit in others, is serving others with humility, is raising our children to be good young Christian men and women, is tithing, is spending time in prayer, is refraining from gossip, is asking God’s blessing over our food in a restaurant, is refusing to use profanity building up His Church?
In the run-up to Lent, I think I’ll pray, Lord, Jesus how can I best serve you during the forty days of this Lenten season? Please guide me.
His response is sure to be, “Larry, I’m really glad that you asked because I need help with . . .”