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5th Sunday of the Year C

posted 5 Feb 2016, 09:52 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle   [ updated 8 Feb 2016, 05:45 by StJohns Annitsford ]

7th Feb 2016

H.B. & Hw.

In the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona there is an extraordinary and unusual statue of St. 

Peter. He is cowering in a corner, hiding under his cloak and looking very guilty. 

It's Peter in the courtyard after his threefold denial of the Lord. 

He is saying, "Leave me Lord; I am a sinful man."

Isaiah's version of this universal human response is: "I am a man of unclean lips."

Despite their protestations, God continues to call Isaiah and Peter. God invites them to do something special with their lives. The call is clear, "Do not be afraid... come follow me."

So being unworthy is no excuse. God dismisses our defence of being unworthy. Not really surprising because the God who calls us is love and forgiveness. God sees into our hearts and invites us to be the best we can. Indeed, God recognises his own beauty and goodness in the heart of each one of us even when we do not recognise it ourselves.

So worthiness is not the issue. Of course we are not worthy. We never will be worthy. But then God does not love us if we change. God loves us so that we can change.

And so the clarion call to do something meaningful with our lives echoes through the inspired words 

we share today. We are invited to use our God-given gifts to make something beautiful with and for God. Whatever the nature of the call, God is inviting each one of us here to express what is noblest and deepest within us.

The point is that the world needs prophets. Our world needs witnesses to the truth, the truth of God's unconditional love. The voice of God comes to us at any stage and any age and asks, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for me?" Can we respond positively? Can we say with Isaiah, "Here I am, Lord, send me!"

The world says: perfect smiles and beautiful bodies are more important than loving hearts and caring 

minds. We say: success is-about being more Christ-like and more Christ-centred; it is about loving God, loving other people and loving God's world.

The world says: everyone can be outwardly transformed. . . for a price. . . all it takes is a nip and a tuck, a professional makeover or a trendy new wardrobe. We say: everyone can be inwardly transformed. . . the price has already been paid... by God in Jesus. . . all it takes is faith.

So we celebrate our mission whatever our role. 

We stand together in our witness to the truth. 

And together we pray, "Here I am, Lord, send me."