Ad Sum
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Isaiah chapter 6 verses 1 to 6
1st Corinthians chapter 15 verses 1 to 11
Luke chapter 5 verses 1 to 11

Christmas day we celebrated the incarnation of God. God, revealing Himself in the person of Jesus. The feast of the Epiphany celebrated, as the word implies, the symbolic introduction of Jesus to the people of all nations. The above scripture readings combine to reveal to us God's method of continuing what the epiphany began. In other words God intends that the knowledge of God... Father, Son and Holy Spirit be imparted to each generation of every nation. As is to be expected it is a simple plan the essence of which is to be found in people like you and me responding to God's call to reflect Him in our words and in our actions and to do so with His constant and necessary support.

It is precisely upon this process that the readings shed light.
Three examples are placed before us: Isaiah, Peter and Paul. It is the common elements in their stories that teach us so much about our own Christian vocation.

Observe that God first of all issues a challenge. "Whom shall I send?" He asks Isaiah. To Paul, "Why do you persecute Me?" And, by implication, "If you have not got a good answer, what are you going to do about it?" To Peter, "If you follow Me, I will make you a fisher of men!" In each case the immediate response is an expressed sense of personal weakness, of helplessness followed by an assurance of divine help, which is, in turn, followed by an acceptance of the challenge.

Isaiah simply said, "Send me.". Peter said nothing. He just dropped his nets and followed Jesus. Paul tells us that the response that was in his heart was, "Here I am Lord, at your disposal, for I am whatever I am by God's grace."

Moments before being ordained to the priesthood, our names were called out and we, in turn, one at a time, took a single step forward, saying for all in the church to hear… "Ad sum."... I am here, send me. I am what I am by the grace of God. Send me.

What a fitting way for each of us to begin his or her day! Ad sum. Do you want a short morning offering? Well you have one. Ad sum... Send me. Send me to encourage and support. To forgive and to heal. Send me to understand other people’s motives, attitudes, fears and frustrations and to respond to coolness and even to hostility with calmness and reason. Send me to share, to feed and to notice, to welcome and to compliment.

I will not always represent you very well Lord for as you well know, I’m subject to frustration, pride, illness and so many other negative forces. But I will try and with Your help there will be some successes. So send me Lord. You are needed out there. Ad sum!

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