My Brothers and Sisters,
We are all called to come forward and follow Jesus Christ. This call is continuous from the moment of our conception and continues throughout our lives. When we respond to this call there will be moments of elation and joy; the love of God will fill us as we see what our lives can be when we live it with Jesus Christ. But, there will also be times when we start to reflect on our sinfulness and past actions. This might lead to feelings of regret when we compare the person that we were without Jesus Christ to the person that we can be with his influence and guidance. It must be understood that we are all sinners and undeserving of salvation. Salvation is not earned, it is given freely by Jesus Christ and through Jesus Christ. We must pray earnestly to have Jesus takes these feelings of brokenness from us and replace them with his love for us.
When Isaiah was called by God to the prophetic office and received a vision of the Lord, he was overcome with a feeling of unworthiness. He was then cleansed through the mercy and love of God. When we recognize God and accept His love the same transformation happens to us. This transformation is continuous. We are slowly being molded and shaped by the one who loves us unconditionally. This will initiate a struggle within us but one that we will ultimately win as long as we keep our focus on building our relationship with God. In the Gospel Reading today, when Peter, James, and John were called forth by Jesus, there was a realization that they were sinful men. Peter fell to his knees begging Jesus to depart from his presence. Jesus accepted him as he was at that moment: a sinner. Jesus also accepts us in the same way. We are not yet a complete work of perfection and will not be until we are with God in eternity.
As Christians, we cannot espouse the things we are doing right but must continuously focus on what we are doing wrong. Proclaiming our successes leads to pride which will then become a gateway for a multitude of sins. We need to turn everything over to God and let Him do the work that only the presence of His love can do. It is only through the presence of His love that we can the persons that we want to be. We must surrender to His will and let Him guide us through the journey to salvation. The Apostle Paul always addressed himself first as a sinner. He even referred to himself as the least among the Apostles. He was serving as an example for all of us to follow. It is through humility and acknowledgement of being sinners that we achieve greatness.
Celebrating God’s Love helps us to come forth united. One person is not called. We are all called so we are encouraged to answer together. Being united opens the floodgates of God’s Love and enables us to share it freely for the benefit of everyone. No one should be excluded from this. All should be welcome. We are all co-workers in the vineyard building each other up and welcoming each others as sinners undeserving of God’s Love. Undeserving we are but nonetheless we are invited receive everything as God’s Children.