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Hearing Our Call to Care About Others

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1–11
February 10, 2013

It isn’t easy to be a disciple of Jesus.  When Peter realized it was Jesus standing with them, he felt so unworthy to be with Jesus, that he asked Jesus to leave them.  Jesus tells him do not be afraid.

Peter and the other actually got a couple of things right that day.  First, that Jesus was no ordinary human and they realized they were not worthy to be with Jesus.  Alone, they are right, we can’t make ourselves worthy to be around Jesus.

The second thing they got right was, even though they unworthy, they still left everything and followed him.

Worthiness was not a new question with Jesus.  It takes on a new significance with Jesus standing right before you but people have been feeling unworthy to be disciples for long before Jesus.

We see in our reading today from Isaiah.  It is the story of how Isaiah received his calling to be a prophet.  Isaiah is seeing a vision of the Lord.

He expresses his unworthiness to see this vision.  He admits his failings and yet knows he is having a profound encounter with God.  Read the story of the calling of just about any prophet in the Bible and you will see how they almost always say they are unworthy.

In a sense they are not worthy.  We are all imperfect and can’t make ourselves worthy but God can and does.

We see this with Isaiah when the seraphim flew to Isaiah and touched his lips with the burning ember, cleansing Isaiah of his sins.  Only then does Isaiah accept the call, saying “send me”.

God is calling each and every one of us to be his children, his disciples.

Do we feel worthy?

God makes us worthy.

Feel like you don’t have what it takes.

Jesus will give you want you need to do what he wants.  Not to do what we want, but what he wants.

We each have a different calling but each calling is centered on the greatest commandment to love God and the second, calling us to love our neighbor.

So do it!

I’m sure one of you is thinking right now, ‘but Father, I don’t feel like there is anything I can do to help.’

You would be wrong.  At the very least you can pray.

And I bet some of you have already done things that have made a big difference for someone else.  For example, think back to December and the gifts presents giving by you through our Giving Tree program.  Surely, it made someone’s Christmas better.

But that isn’t enough!  Think of the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

We need to start by taking care of the immediate needs of people around us like food, clothing, and to know God’s love at Christmas.

That’s charity but we are also called to work for justice and we have an opportunity to do just that today.  In using the word “justice” I’m talking about changing systems and policies that keep a person done rather than giving them a hand up.

It’s our Diocesan Public Policy Weekend and that means we have a petition available for signing today.  Today we really are talking about making a different in the life of a child not just for a day but for a lifetime.

Our petition today (which is available at all the entrances of the church) asks our state government to restore child care funding back to the levels before they were dropped in 2010-11 budget.

Why should we care about this?

Well, first and foremost we should desire safe child care for all children that the parents can’t afford on their own.  Some might want to say ‘tell them to get a better job.’  Many of them would like to.  Do you have a job for them?

Look at minimum wage.  A person working full-time at minimum wage only makes $15,000 a year.  That’s below the poverty line.  If both parents work, they have $30,000 but can’t afford the child care they need then.

And these are the most important years of development.  It sets the stage for the entire rest of their lives.  So, it is an investment for the future.

Our diocese has statistics show that every one dollar invested in child care returns seven dollars in future savings due to the decreased need for special services later in school or live.

Seven for one sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

All you have to do is fill out a line on the petition.  You can make a difference.  Jesus loves the children and so do we.

 

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