In today's gospel, Matt 10:16-23, Jesus very clearly tells his Apostles all the dangers they will face as they go out into the world. He says they will be sheep in the midst of wolves, that they will be handed over to courts, scourged, handed over to death, hated.
Wow, who wants to sign up for that?
Well, they must have raised their hands and said "Yes" because we still have the Church 2000 years later. Of the 12 apostles, all were martyred except St. John the Evangelist, who was exiled to the Island of Patmos. (12 including Mattias having taken the place of Judas.)
Today in the homily, our pastor rightly made the point that we ALL have this call within us to do something great. EVEN IF IT IS SCARY AND DANGEROUS! In our Catholic Church, we are all called to be Saints, the great witnesses to Christ and His Church.
I think that is why I love the saints so very much. Over 2000 years, on every continent, men, women and children of all ages, priests, religious and laity from all walks of life have given their Yes. The saints have been the greatest lights in times of deepest darkness. And the saints have given their yes even when persecuted, abandoned, hated and many times unto death.
And guess what, you and I are called to the same!
A lot of people would say, well, I can't be a Blessed Mother Teresa or a St. Francis of Assisi. And they are right, they can't be. And guess what. GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO BE! He already has Mother Teresa and St. Francis. He wants Jane Doe to be St. Jane Doe and John Smith, to be St. John Smith.
So what does that mean practically, today, in my life right now? It means just say yes.
Say yes to going to work today to provide for your family. Say yes to cleaning the kitchen one more time. Say yes to a day with your family. Say yes to getting to mass and saying your prayers. Say yes to a ministry. Say yes to sharing the gospel.
The best part is, each Yes we give is truly God's grace working in us. His Power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor12:9-10.)
God put us right where He wants to be, to be saints. We don't need to be in Calcutta or Assisi. We can be in St. Petersburg, FL or Buffalo, NY or Rock Hill, SC or Dickinson, ND or Sycamore, IL or Houston, TX and we can be a saint.
May God then give us that grace to say YES and answer the call to something bigger than ourselves.