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Unworthy, Yet Called
Gospel Reflection 9/16/2022
Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others
who provided for them out of their resources.
There have been many times in my adult life when I’ve felt wholly unworthy of being called a follower of Christ. All too often, I‘ve allowed my sinful nature to overshadow the love, compassion, and forgiveness I’m called to live as a disciple of Jesus.
At my lowest moments, it’s nearly impossible to believe myself worthy of the name “Christian,” let alone daring to imagine proclaiming the Good News alongside Him.
That Jesus invites uneducated, unethical, unclean, unworthy, sinful men and women to accompany Him on His mission of love is exactly why today’s Gospel is so encouraging to an imperfect Christian like me. If a woman healed of severe demonic possession can accompany Christ, what, exactly, is stopping me?
Earlier in the Gospel of Luke, the Pharisees pointedly ask Jesus why He fellowships with the marginalized of His time. His response? “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” (Luke 8:31-32)
The truth is, we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). None of us, on our own power, is worthy to untie the thongs of Jesus’ sandals, let alone minister to others in His Name!
But God, in His great love and mercy, sent Jesus Christ to die so that we can be in communion – in relationship – with Him. When we stumble, when we sin, when we fall short, we’re invited to repent – to lay down our anger, our pride, our unforgiveness – to “go and sin no more” – so that we may once again take up our cross and follow Jesus even more closely than before.
As imperfect as we may be, God calls each of us, through our baptism, to share His love and forgiveness with the world. Let’s ask the Lord to equip us to do just that – not based on our own merit, but based on Who He is and how wonderfully He has redeemed us.