V SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8; 1 corinthians 15:1-11; luke 5:1-11
in a certain church there was a man in the choir who couldn’t sing very well. the choir director suggested that he should leave the choir. but he wouldn’t budge. the choir director then decided to go to the pastor and complain. «you’ve got to get that man out of the choir or else i’m going to resign.» so the pastor went to the man and told him, «perhaps you should leave the choir.» «why should i leave the choir?» the man asked. «four or five people have told me you can’t sing» said the pastor. «that’s nothing,» the man replied, «forty or fifty people have told me you can’t preach!»
competence is not a criterion the LORD uses when he calls people.
the readings describe the call of isaiah, of paul, and of peter and his co-workers. all these people felt unworthy in the presence of GOD.
when they confessed their inadequacy before GOD, he made them worthy to serve him. a seraph touched isaiah’s lips with a burning coal from the altar and said to him: «your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out» (isaiah 6:7). to simon peter, JESUS said: «do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people» (luke 15:10).
availability and the readiness to follow GOD’s directives is another quality that these three have in common. isaiah’s prompt response to the voice of the LORD was: “here am i; send me!” (isaiah 6:8). paul was full of zeal and worked harder than all those who were called before him. peter and his partners «left everything and followed him» (luke 15:11).
the LORD continues to ask: «whom shall i send?» the LORD still needs messengers to proclaim the good news in the temple, to announce it in foreign lands, to speak up for him in the workplace and bring their coworkers and partners to know and follow the LORD.
i may feel unworthy and incompetent for the work of GOD… but am i available? if so, the LORD will qualify me for his mission, as he did with isaiah, with paul, and with peter.