Calling the weak and the wounded

A few days ago, I came across this quote from Father Ron Rolheiser on his Facebook page:

“I’m convinced that God calls each of us to a vocation and to a special work here on earth more on the basis of our wounds than on the basis of our gifts. Our gifts are real and important; but they only grace others when they are shaped into a special kind of compassion by the uniqueness of our own wounds. Our unique, special wounds can help make each of us a unique, special healer.”

This morning, while reading the call of Peter in today’s Gospel (Matthew 4: 12-23), I began to realize how Jesus called the incompetent Peter to follow him and be “a fisher of people.”

Sometimes I’ve thought that Jesus calls us because of our competence, looking at our gifts. After all, he called Peter the fisherman to be a “fisher of people” in His Reign.

But I had forgotten that Peter in the Gospels comes across as an incompetent and unsuccessful fisherman – having fished all night, at least twice in the Gospel accounts, and not having gotten a single fish. (See Luke 5: 1-11 and John 21: 1-14). He’s only successful when Jesus tells him what to do! “Put out into the deep.” “Cast your nets on the right side of the boat.”

Jesus calls us even when we are incompetent and weak, helping us see where we need to go – both to catch fish and to follow him in his mission.

(Image by Cerezo Barredo)

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