The 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time – The Homily
Getting the annual flu shot at your neighborhood Walgreens is a convenient way to take care of yourself — and a great way to do something good for a child who lives a world away. Because for every shot a Walgreens pharmacist or Healthcare Clinic provider administers from now through August 31, 2016, Walgreens will make a donation to the U.N. Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign — to help provide lifesaving immunizations to children in developing nations who desperately need them.
This collaboration between Walgreens and the U.N. Foundation, called Get a Shot. Give a Shot.®, has had a dramatic impact on 7 million children over the last two years. Thanks to Walgreens customers, millions of children in developing countries are now protected from life-threatening diseases like polio and measles.
Where’d this idea come from?
TOMS Shoes is a company based in Playa Del Rey, California. The company was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie and designs and sells espadrilles shoes based on Argentine design. TOMS also designs and sells eyewear.
Here’s what’s different about TOMS.
When Toms sells a pair of shoes, a new pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child, and when Toms sells a pair of eyewear, part of the profit is used to save or restore the eyesight for people in developing countries.
At the 2010 Global Leadership Summit, there was a businessman named Mike Arnoult. He was listening to a session by Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes and suddenly Mike received a Grander Vision from God (See the video of his story here).
Mike envisioned a way that his company, Walgreens, could utilize the one-for-one model to provide vital healthcare in developing countries. He courageously began to make the case within Walgreens – ultimately resulting in the successful “Get a Shot. Give a Shot.” Campaign. Because Mike acted on that prompting from God, millions of children have received life-giving vaccinations.
His idea was so successful that in 2014, at the start of the flu season, The Gates Foundation wrote an article on the unique public/private partnership between the UN Foundation and Walgreens.
This is not a new idea. Almost 1,600 years ago, some guy named Augustine wrote the following:
If Christ had first chosen a man skilled in public speaking, such a man might well have said: “I have been chosen on account of my eloquence.” If he had chosen a senator, the senator might have said: “I have been chosen because of my rank.” If his first choice had been an emperor, the emperor surely might have said: “I have been chosen for the sake of the power I have at my disposal.”
Christ says: Give me this fisherman, this man without education or experience, this man to whom no senator would deign to speak, not even if he were buying fish. Yes, give me him; once I have taken possession of him, it will be obvious that it is I who am at work in him. Although I mean to include senators, orators, and emperors among my recruits, even when I have won over the senator I shall still be surer of the fisherman.
The senator can always take pride in what he is; so can the orator and the emperor, but the fisherman can glory in nothing except Christ alone. So let the fisherman come first. He is the best person to win over an emperor.
Remember this fisherman, then, this holy, just, good, Christ-filled fisherman. In his nets cast throughout the world he has the task of catching nations as well as emperors, orators and senators. (Reflection by St. Augustine of Hippo)
Isaiah says, “But I’ve got a foul mouth.”
Peter says, “I’m a rogue, a sinful man.”
Moses says, “But I stutter.”
Jeremiah says, “But I’m too young.”
In today’s Second Reading, St. Paul says, “By the grace of God I am what I am. Nevertheless His Grace to me has not been ineffective.”
So you’re not perfect? So what! You can still say, “Here I am Lord.” God does not call the qualified, God qualifies the called.
I end with the following poem: “Make us deeper than our doubts. Help us in the catching and in the being caught.”
Audio version of the homily is here: