Unlikely Instruments of God’s Love
“I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me.” Isaiah 45: 4b
Isaiah’s proclamation of Cyrus, King of Persia, conqueror of the ancient Near East, as the Anointed of God must have caused a few waves; likely more of a tsunami! Imagine God choosing a pagan emperor to fulfill God’s will for God’s people. At the very least, this proclamation by the prophet would cause his listeners to re-examine their world view. The idea that God’s care extends to all people is not new – we have the story of Jonah being sent by God to Nineveh to proclaim a message of repentance. Jonah balked at the idea that God would want a pagan community to repent and be saved and had to experience a conversion of heart himself before he could fulfill the mandate given to him by God.
Jesus’ proclamation of the Good News of God’s unconditional love also proved a stumbling block. Like so many before them, the religious leaders balked at the idea and sought to trap Jesus in some grievous error so they could discredit him and do away with him. Even though the religious leaders were not willing to hear Jesus and respond, many did. Jesus chose disciples to continue his work, and they too were unlikely instruments. They were not of the religious or political elite, they were ordinary folks, among them fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot and others who had no particular standing in the society of their day.
Jesus continues to call people to discipleship and mission today. I believe that he is still calling disciples to the vowed life and priesthood as well as all the other vocations. No matter what the call might be for each of us individually we need to trust that God is choosing and calling us, unlikely instruments we might judge ourselves to be. Whether it was Cyrus of Persia, Jonah the prophet, Simon the fisherman, Matthew the tax collector … and the list goes on … God always provides the gifts that are needed to live out the call and to be instruments of God’s love. God is calling each of us, God is calling you, calling me – do we have listening ears, open hearts and trust that as God calls, God also provides? Do we have the openness and trust to respond to the call?
By Richard Beaudette, OMI
Vocation Team – East