Today’s First Reading was a hoot. It was a hoot in the sense that it got me chuckling because I realize that there’s more than a little bit of Gideon in me. The reading is from Judges 6:11-28a and it’s about the Lord’s call of Gideon. God sends his angel to enlighten Gideon about his new status:

While his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press to save it from the Midianites, the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “The LORD is with you, O champion!”

I don’t mean to be sacreligious, but I think if someone came up to me and called me a champion, I’d be very suspicious of what they were going to try to get out of me. Thanks be to God Gideon is a lot wiser than I am and recognized that this “somebody” was indeed an angel of God!

Still, Gideon has his skeptic side wide open and perhaps there’s a hint of sarcasm in his voice when he replies to the angel.

Gideon said to him, “My Lord, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?

Be honest. How many times in your life have you said the same thing? If you’re like me, you’re no longer able to keep count. Things start running amuck and I obstinately stamp my foot at God and say, “Well. If you really care about me, then why has all this happened?”

It’s happened for the same reason that the angel appeared to Gideon. God had a special task for Gideon and likely the adversity which he and his people had been facing helped to prepare Gideon for his mission. So too, when God sends adversity my way it’s because He’s been preparing me for a special mission. I might not recognize that right away, but eventually it dawns on me – that’s why all this has happened.

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