Is it too much to think that God uses regular people for extraordinary purposes? Purposes that we may not see the immediate fruit, but with patience, faith and love eventually our labor won’t be in vain?
Think of Moses. Here he was going about his normal routine then out of nowhere a burning bush that wasn’t consumed caught his attention. We know the rest. Moses is chosen to lead Israel out of Egyptian slavery.
Think about St.Peter and his calling by Jesus. Peter spent his whole life as a fisherman. He knew that profession well. Jesus calls him, leaves his profession behind, and immediately follows him. We know the rest. He eventually becomes the first Pope and leader of the apostles.
Considering that tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, here we see God using the simple to achieve an extraordinary end. The story behind the account is a remarkable story about Mary, a humble man, and the change of an entire country to Christianity.
St. Juan Diego was an Indian native heading to mass when a voice called to him. He went to check it out and saw a Lady whose garments were radiant standing on a hill. She told him she’d like a church built there and to speak with the bishop about this request. Juan Diego went to the the bishop, but he was somewhat skeptical of the request. The next day, the lady was waiting for Juan. He told her the story, but she requested that he go back to the bishop. This time the bishop said he would need evidence to support his statements. On the third time he encountered the lady, she told him to gather flowers in his cloak from the hilltop and present them to the bishop. He did just that too. When Juan arrived at the bishop’s office, he opened his cloak, the flowers fell out, and everyone paid honor to the image of Mary shown as she was on the hill.
The rest is history. Christianity had shortly been introduced into the region, but because of Juan Diego’s humble and inviting heart to every desire of Mary this religion ended up becoming a thriving force. Because he didn’t hesitate to listen, the country was converted rapidly after the apparition. It is estimated that millions of people became Christians following this miraculous story.
Today in Mexico City, you can still find the church built and view the exact cloak from Juan Diego! Truly a living miracle in our world.
God used this native to help transform his country into a lover of God. His witness to the apparitions helped put away idolatry and paganism, and replace it with communion with the eternal loving God.
What God calls you and me to do may not be this grandiose. Using the gifts he has given us, we can make an impact in some of the smallest ways. Our impact doesn’t always produce rapid results or obvious fruit, but with patience and time, small seeds eventually flourish.
Don’t ever think you can’t be used for God. God, no matter how much comfort the obscurity of a low profile feels we have, can surely elevate the lowly to make them the greatest in the kingdom.
Image source: Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston