February 6, Calls: a Sunday Scriptures blog

Last week, a Sister in the house I live in related a saying often attributed to St. Mother Teresa. It went something like this: “God never gives us more than we can carry. But I wish God didn’t trust me so much!” While Mother Teresa didn’t actually say this, it is nonetheless a sentiment we can all relate to. We all have times when we think we cannot do it, we cannot bear the troubles our calls include, or meet their challenges. We dream of escape. Have you had those times? Are you in one now? Our 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time is about calls. Our Hebrew Scripture reading describes the call of Isaiah. In awe of the holiness of God and aware of his own unworthiness, God purifies Isaiah so that he can end up saying, “Here I am, send me!” In our second reading from Corinthians, Paul marvels at his call because he is “one born abnormally.” He is an apostle, but unlike the other apostles he never met Jesus of Nazareth. Like us, Paul had to depend on testimony about Jesus from those who had known him, and on his inner experience of the risen Christ. Yet Paul became one of the founders of our faith. In the longer version of this reading, Paul says he could only do what he did because of grace. In our Gospel, after the “miraculous catch of fish,” the awed Simon says, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man.” Jesus replies, “Do not be afraid,” and gives Simon his new vocational call of “catching men.” Notice that in each of these call situations, reassurance is given with the call. Through these call readings, our lectionary invites us to reflect on our own calls. The call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is difficult, whatever the specific situations of our calls — parenting, marriage or religious life, our work world and culture … Where is it difficult for you at the moment?  This week, picture Jesus saying to you, “My grace is sufficient for you” and “Do not be afraid.”

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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