(Is 6.1-2a,3-8; 1 Cor 15.1-11; Lk 5.1-11)
I wonder if you have been struck by how often key and striking models and publicists for Catholicism were converts – Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Scott Hahn, to name just a few. Each tells of moments of intense encounter with Jesus Christ. They have also observed how the passage from death to life, his resurrection, that is the summit of Jesus’ life journey, is paralleled in their own experiences. This is reflected in today’s readings, for both Isaiah (Is 6.7-8) and Paul (1 Cor 15.4,8-9).
These witnesses to Jesus’ power and presence do not see themselves as especially holy. In contrast they often proclaim their unworthiness because they once pooh-poohed or even attacked Catholicism. We may see them as exceptional but they saw themselves as poor sinners; it was only the sheer unexpected touch of Christ’s mercy that transformed them.
From my own reading and many years of listening to personal stories I know that many people even today have moments when they experience touches of God’s overwhelming presence. Some question their emotional balance or sobriety at these moments; others do not want to recall them in the face of an utterly sceptical society while others have seen their tentative sharings ridiculed by family or colleagues so have learned to shut up.
Some of you reading this will have experienced such moments. No doubt you asked yourself, could I really change to become like Thomas or Dorothy? Could even God do that in my life? Be brave, listen to that voice because twenty-first humanity stands in desperate need of voices such as those of Thomas, Dorothy or Scott.
5th Sunday year CThis Sunday