We all like excuses. They are easy to come up with, and we are at our most creative when thinking about. We cannot do this, because… I do not have the time for that, because… I cannot help you out now, because… I am too young. Even in the bible, there is no shortage of excuses. Moses in the third chapter of Exodus has many reasons why this is not the time he can leave the Israelite people. Isaiah does not know what to say. Jonah does not like the Ninevites. Jeremiah, the person we encounter in today’s first reading is too young.
even in the gospel we find excuses and circumstances that make it difficult to answer the call of Jesus. There are too many family obligations, or too many possessions are owned. We all like to make excuses. And yet when it comes to the kingdom of God, it seems there is a certain sense of urgency on the part of Jesus. With those I have already mentioned, Moses, Isaiah, Jonah, or Jeremiah, there is a certain sense of urgency in the part of God for proclaiming the good news.
And no wonder why. The need for God’s word never goes away. We find ourselves in the current time where there seem to be too many tragic news stories to keep up with. And what are we to make of all of them? How is it that we are to cope with the myriad of events, good and bad, that make up our daily lives.
If we only heard the excuses, we would be quite sad. The truth is, in every instance I mentioned in the first part of this homily, the end of the story was the effectiveness of God. Despite his excuses, Moses went on to be a great leader. Despite his uncertainty about which message to proclaim, Isaiah became a great prophet. Despite his reluctance, probably born of prejudice, Jones preaching was effective in Nineveh was saved. And despite his youth, even through tremendously difficult circumstances, Jeremiah became an effective mouthpiece for the word of God.
And so the message from today’s readings is quite clear. There simply is no excuse good enough to keep us from doing the will of God. We are not too old or too young, too dumb or too smart, too ineffective or untalented, put simply, because God knows us better than we know ourselves, there is no reason for us not to do the will of God.