God Chooses People Like You

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time
By Fr. Chinnappan Pelavendran

“Isn’t this the son of a carpenter?” —Luke 4:22

God chooses and uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He doesn’t need our ability, but rather our availability. He uses ordinary people who have nothing of their own to offer except their faithfulness and willingness to say “Yes” to God. One important point to note is that God does not call anyone by accident. Instead, He carefully considered before calling us. He knew each one of us personally. He also knows what he wants us to do for him. He calls us by our own names, with a plan in His mind.

We see this in the First Reading, which speaks of the calling of Jeremiah to be a prophet who will communicate God’s Word to his people. It was a calling that went back to the time before he was born. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” All of us have actually been called in this way. But our reaction is often similar to Jeremiah’s: “‘Ah, Lord God!’ ‘I know not how to speak; I am too young.’” But the Lord responded, “Say not, ‘I am too young’. To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak…” Then the Lord extended his hand and touched his mouth, saying: “See, I place my words in your mouth.” An ordinary youth called by God to do His Mission.

Look at the Apostle Paul. Whose feast day we celebrated on January 25th. St. Paul was one of the most educated men of his day and yet God brought him down in Acts 9. God opened his eyes to the beauty and glory of Jesus. Once Paul knew Jesus, all of his education, gifts, and talents were directed towards the Gospel. The Lord uses those humbled by a vision of His greatness and glory to testify to the proud and religious. The Lord humbled the Apostle Paul and used him mightily to plant churches, preach the Gospel, write more than a dozen New Testament letters, and so much more. God used educated people for His glory but often humbled them because of their pride so they will rely on Him.

Peter was a fisherman by trade, along with his brother Andrew. He grew into a gifted preacher and bold leader. Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times, but Peter didn’t believe Him. Imagine Peter, the leader of the Apostles and a member of the inner circle of the Son of God, denied him three times. Peter felt devastation, shame, and guilt. He may have thought “I’m such a failure that God could never use me again,” but that isn’t true. God uses our failures, hardships and trials for His glory. He turns what was meant for bad to testify to His grace. You say that you are a failure and yet God says because of the finished work of Christ you are victorious. The Apostle Peter went on to be mightily used by God because He was broken. You may be broken right now but in due season God will build you up and use you for His glory. Don’t run from Him, run to Jesus. God uses ordinary people for His glory.

Jesus is a good manual worker from a small village. He is just another person in the town. But the rumors being spread about his actions in Capernaum and the words he has just spoken seem to indicate a special connection with God. On the one hand, his origins are well-known, but on the other hand his origin is completely unknown. Who is Jesus really? The ordinary carpenter, Jesus, is the Son of God who has become man in order to redeem us from our sins.

How could God use you? Look at your situation and your surroundings. Perhaps God has placed you in your school, your job, your family, or your neighborhood to do something special for the Lord Jesus Christ. God is calling you right now; all you have to do is say, “Yes, Lord!” Will you make yourself available to Him? Remember, God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things for His glory!

2 Responses to “God Chooses People Like You”

  1. pussywillowpress Says:

    Yes :)!
    “The proud man who trusts in himself
    has good reason for not undertaking anything.
    The humble man is all the more courageous,
    the more he realizes he is powerless;
    the more he esteems himself worthless,
    the more daring he becomes,
    because he puts his whole trust in God
    Who is pleased to exalt His almighty power in our weakness
    and manifest His mercy in our misery.”
    ~St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

  2. zolljl Says:

    AS to ‘being available’, I feel more and more like Fr. Louis (Thomas Merton) “Lord, I don’t know if I’m doing what you asked or if I’m even on the right path…. so I’ll just keep plugging away until you make a change.” (badly paraphrased).

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