for Sunday, February 6, 2022
This Sunday we are presented with Isaiah, Paul and Peter. All three are chosen
by God. Each regrets that he is too human, and too sinful to fulfill God's choice. But
God makes up for what they lack. Isaiah says, "How can I, a man of unclean lips living
among people of unclean lips, proclaim the Lord. Paul adds that he was called even
though he had persecuted the Church. He is the very least of the apostles, but by the
grace of God, still an apostle. Peter is quite aware of his humanity. He is a fisherman
without out any education. He is stubborn. He is a bit of a braggart. He lack courage.
But God still calls him and gives him the ability to be the greatest and first of the
"I can't do this."
"I can't do this anymore."
I have heard a young girl say this as she is dealing with the stress of her first
baby who suffers from cholic.
I have heard an elderly man say this as he is dealing with the challenges of
I have heard a young widow say this when two years after the tragedy of her
husband's death she still questions her life.
I have heard a husband say this as he realizes that he is not giving himself fully
to his marriage.
I have heard a priest say this as he realizes that he is not giving himself fully to
To all these people, I must say, "You are right. You can't do this
anymore.....at least not alone.
It is time for us to stop thinking that we can do it ourselves and start trusting in
God who will help us complete the mission in life he has given us.
That young Mom, and all our young parents need to know that you didn't just
happen to become a mother or father. God has given you this child and he will give
you the help you need to be a good parent.
That elderly gentleman taking chemo and all those in our parish suffering from
serious ailments no matter how old they are, you need to know that you are not alone
in your suffering and your anguish. Trust in God, put up the fight for your own life the
best you can, and know that as long as you are with God, it really doesn't matter
whether you beat this particular crisis, or the next or the one after that, as long as you
fight with the Lord.
The young widow and all those suffering horrible losses, particularly those who
have lost children, need to know that God will get them through the sorrow and that
they now have a gift of understanding they can share with others in pain. That man or
woman, mother or father, in perpetual grief over the loss need to know that they are
better for having loved, and now can be even more loving, having lost.
The husband or wife who say they cannot go on because he or she is not fully
committed to their marriage need to ask themselves why they are holding back. They
need to ask themselves if they want God in the relationship. Sometimes, the person
they want is neither God nor their spouse. Then no wonder why they feel they can't go
on. They can't. But if God is admitted and a Christian lifestyle is resumed, they can do
this, they can be a husband or wife. God gives us the power to walk away from that
which is destroying us.
I once had a long talk with a priest who was living a double life. He said, "I can't
keep doing this; preaching the faith, and living Christianity while at the same time I want
to be with another person." I, a product of the 70's, was shocked at how traditional my
answer was: "You are right, you can't do this being a public hypocrite. But God called
you to be a priest. He can and will give you the grace and power to return to the life he
has given you and to leave a situation which is destroying your priesthood and
Fill in the blanks. Are there situations in your life when you feel you just can't go
on, you just can't do it. Do you feel deserted by God? You are not. He's never closer
to you than when you need him the most. Remember, the miracle of his love is that
there are billions of people in the world and each one is loved by God as an only child.
He loves you and he loves me as though we are the only one's he ever created. We
can go on, we can do it, with God's help. And his help is there.
The angel took an ember from the fire and purified Isaiah's lips. That had to
hurt. Perhaps it does hurt to let God take control of our lives, but it is a good hurt. All
that we do for the sake of our Divine Lover and his Kingdom is worth the effort and
sacrifice. The gift of ourselves is little in comparison to the gift of Jesus on the cross.
But it is still a valid and worthy gift as we complete our role in the battle of and for the
Kingdom of God.
I can't do it.
Yes I can.
I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 6.1-2a, 3-8
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15.1-11
Gospel: Luke 5.1-11
This material is used with permission of its author, Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino, Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL. Visit his
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: