Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gideon's Call


Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Judges 6:11-24a (Gideon's Call)

In today’s first reading at Holy Mass we meet Gideon, a man called by God to rescue His people from the power of their enemies.  An angel appeared to Gideon, using words that remind us of Gabriel’s salutation to our Lady, “The Lord is with you, O Champion!”. (Actually, it is better in the Latin, “The Lord is with you, O strongest of men!”)  But Gideon argues, “My lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” And then he mournfully lists all the troubles of the Israelites.  The angel replies, “Go with the strength you have, and save Israel from the power of Midian.  It is I who send you.” Gideon continues to argue, “How can I save Israel? My family is the meanest in Manasseh, and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.”  And the angel (who is really the Lord Himself), insists, “I shall be with you”.  And that really should end all argument.  So often, when we are called by God to do something great for Him, we look at our own weaknesses and tell Him he has the wrong person.  We are no one special, we are not important, we don’t have what it takes, so get someone else.  But we have to remember that God actually delights in using just such people as we are.  St. Paul said, “He chooses the weak and makes them strong”.  He also says that God uses those who are nothing to put to shame those who are something.  So let’s stop making excuses and get going.  If God is with us, who can be against us?  Even if it is the whole world, He can handle it.  I heard a priest say it well in a homily many years ago, “Do your best, and Jesus Christ will do the rest”.

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