The last few weeks the words “go forth”, “don’t be confined” and St. Ignatius’ words: “ite, inflammate Omnia” (“go, set the world on fire”) have weighed heavy on my mind. I sit at mass and honestly think mainly about myself, my relationship with God, what I want, what I need. But then at the end, we are sent out. Go forth. Glorify the Lord by your life. Spread the Good News.
Today the Bible opened to Jeremiah:
The word of the LORD came to me:
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.
“Ah, Lord GOD!” I said, “I do not know how to speak. I am too young!”
But the LORD answered me, Do not say, “I am too young.” To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you—oracle of the LORD.
There is so much in this passage. First, God knows us. He formed us. But even before He formed us in the womb, He knew us and He knows us. He knows you. He knows me. He knows what we are capable of and He dedicated each of us for a purpose. He knows us, better than we know ourselves. As I read that and feel this realization, I have tears in my eyes. What an incredible feeling to realize this. He knows us. I don’t know that any person really knows me. But He does.
Now to the second point. As great as the first point makes me feel, the second makes me hang my head, because I feel like I answer God’s call, much like Jeremiah did. Not me God. I do not know how to speak. I am too young. I do not have the knowledge. Someone else could do it better. I don’t know all the rules. I don’t know all of the scriptures. What if I say the wrong thing. What if someone else disagrees with me. I need someone else to lead me and guide me. I have lots of reasons why it shouldn’t be me. Lots of reasons to say no when I feel God nudge me or even out right shout to me.
Which leads to the third point. God knows us. He has dedicated us for a purpose. And when He tells us to go, we should go. When He tells us to speak, we should speak. “To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak.” Do not be afraid. God will lead. We may not have this, but God does. He’s got this. And when He tells us to do something, it is because He knows the plan. And although we may not know everything, He does. He knows what we are capable of. It may be beyond dispute that we cannot do it on our own, but we can do anything through God.
Thank you for forming me. Thank you for knowing me, even when I don’t know myself. Thank you for having a purpose for me. Help me be ready to say yes. No matter how many excuses I throw up, knock down my resistance and my fear. Send me, Lord. Help me to hear your call. Help me to listen. Help me to respond and follow your plan. I want to spread your Good News. I want to help set the world on fire with your Spirit. Send me, Lord. Fill me with your Spirit and send me.