Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

It’s a bit unusual, but today’s three lessons all speak exactly about the same thing, and that is about how God calls people to do God’s work. In each of the instances, the person being called is at first hesitant. Isaiah says, “I’m not worthy; I’m a sinner,” but then God heals his sinfulness and asks him to go, to carry out God’s work. Paul says the same thing: “I was the worst; in fact, I persecuted the church of God.”

He was one who started out hating what Jesus stood for, but then when Jesus appeared to him and he saw Jesus’ love for him, he was ready to follow Jesus, and he did. He became the great apostle to all the nations. In the Gospel lesson, we see Peter first standing out from the others, but then James and John, the sons of Zebedee who were his partners in fishing — Jesus calls them. Peter says, “I’m not worthy, I’m a sinner.”

Jesus says in effect, “I can heal you; follow me.” So they did, and in each instance, Isaiah, Paul, Peter, James and John heard the call of Jesus. He was asking them to change their lives dramatically, to listen to what he taught, to watch how he acted, to follow him and be the ones who would begin to spread the Gospel message throughout Jerusalem and Judea and to the ends of the earth. This work of God, of calling people, still goes on

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