Tuesday, August 25, 2009

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Today's readings can be found here

Today’s readings serve a two-fold purpose. One is to remind us that we are called by God to go out into the world and serve Him. The other purpose is to encourage us in that call.

In the first reading, from the prophet Amos, Amos was not looking to work as a prophet. His original job was shepherding and tending to sycamore trees. He was called by God and he answered that call by proclaiming God’s word to Israel. The Gospel also tells a story of being called. The disciples are sent forth by Jesus to share God’s word with the villages and towns. The instructions they receive are to go forth with what they have and nothing more.

Being called may seem a little bit frightening. It takes some bravado to tell others that they are surrounded by sin, need to repent and ask for forgiveness and that God has told them what they need to live a fuller and better life.

He has given us everything we need in order to do his will. These things are the focus of Paul’s prayer in the second reading, from the book of Ephesians. He writes that God has given us every spiritual blessing in Christ. He chose us. We are adopted by Him into His family. He has poured out His love and grace on us. We have been redeemed and forgiven. He tells us His will. He centers us with the examples of Christ (and how we should then live our lives). He encourages us to share the promise of heaven with others. He gives us hope. He seals us with the Holy Spirit and give us the promise of heaven.

God does not call the prepared. Amos was a shepherd who was called forth to proclaim God’s word to Israel. The disciples were fishermen, and a tax collector, political activist and an account. God called them forth to serve him. He calls us as well. God does not call the prepared, he prepares the called. Go. You are sent.

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