By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Rather Unusual C.V.

Job applications are often accompanied by a curriculum vitae that typically brims over in expressions of self-confidence and accomplishment. That's expected. A prospective employer wants to know the applicant's skill sets and talents. How different is the C.V. for a disciple of Jesus Christ!

In the first place, one does not apply for discipleship; rather, one is called. Furthermore, those called by the Lord to follow him are those very much unqualified to do so. That's the point St Paul makes in the second reading we heard on Sunday (1Cor 1:26-31): God chooses the "foolish, weak, low and despised." Not something that would occur to me to put on a vocations poster.

Yet, this is obviously true and profoundly liberating. You may have come across the oft-quoted saying: God does not call the qualified but qualifies those he calls. He summons us to holiness of life, a state no one can achieve unaided by God's grace. He calls to various forms of discipleship, the demands of which lie beyond human capacity. Yet God is merciful and provides all that is needed.

Indeed, as St Paul puts it, God is the source of our very life in Christ Jesus! In other words, Jesus is our curriculum vitae. In him we have the source of all inspiration and the power of any accomplishment. While a usual C.V. is replete with self-promotion, that of the Christian boasts of natural weakness and joyful reliance upon the goodness of God.