Called to Live Anew
â€œHere I am,â€ I said; â€œsend me!â€
Anew â€“ it is a word we will focus on for years to come. Now is the time for our next great step together, to call people anew to knowing, loving, and serving the Lord and His Holy Church right here at this parish.
We have certainty in the gospel. We know the things we are to share â€“ love that conquers all things and the gifts of the Kingdom life to the unexpected in unexpected ways.
You can imagine the unexpectedness of Isaiah â€˜s encounter with God as he was pulled into the heavenly court to meet God face-to-face. Isaiah well knew that no one could survive such an encounter and live. Isaiah literally says: â€œWoe is me, I am doomed!â€ Yet the God of the unexpected did something â€“ well unexpected.
God cleansed and freed Isaiah from his unclean lips and his life in and among a people of uncleanliness â€“ sin. God freed Isaiah from certain death. Then God sent Isaiah to proclaim His word to the people. To do all necessary to draw the people back to God.
Likewise, Jesus caused Simon and the other fishermen with him to face something unexpected, a great catch and an even greater call to evangelize the people, to make the promise of the Kingdom life known. They then did something equally unexpected â€“ they left everything behind â€“ their lifeâ€™s work, investments, all they had to follow Jesus.
St. Paul fully realized the unexpectedness of his call. He calls himself least of the Apostles, realizing and acknowledging his sins â€“ the very persecution of the Church and how he had been forgiven.
All of these lessons point to our call to live anew and to speak to others of our God, to spread the gospel, to make Jesus known.
Like Isaiah, we must recognize that the Lord God has cleansed us for the work we are to do and has sent us forth to proclaim His word. As with Paul, we have been set free from wrongdoing to be apostles in our world, to make the truth of the gospel known. Like Simon and the other fisherman, we are called to get up and go, to set aside those things we might otherwise feel important and focus our efforts on the Kingdom of God.
Today we gather in the grand tradition of our Ecclesial-democratic establishment, to reflect on the work of the year gone by and to set our eyes forward. We are, like Paul, to hand on to others as of first importance what we also received: that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried; and that he was raised on the third day. Let us set out and preach the gospel we have been given for the benefit of those who Jesus has also called. Those who would not know Him without us.