In today's Mass Reading, Gideon felt like this. The Angel of the Lord came to Gideon and told him that he, Gideon, would deliver the people from the tyranny of Midian.
But Lord, I am from the weakest family in Israel. And I am the least in this very weak family, Gideon says.
The Angel assures Gideon that the Lord will be with him and that he, Gideon, will crush the enemy. But Gideon still isn't sure that this is a message from God, nor does he trust the prophecy. He asks for a sign.
First, Gideon prepares a meal.
Second, Gideon brings the meal to the Angel of the Lord, almost like an offering.
Third, Gideon waits and watches.
And the Angel speaks again to Gideon:
"Take the meat and unleavened cakes, put them on this rock and pour the broth over them." Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff in his hand and touched the meat and unleavened cakes. Fire sprang from the rock and consumed the meat and unleavened cakes, and the angel of the Lord vanished before his eyes. Then Gideon knew this was the angel of the Lord, and he said, "Alas, my Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!" the Lord answered him, "Peace be with you; have no fear; you will not die." Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it The-Lord-is-Peace.
Sounds a little like Mass. Our offering is given. It is placed on the Altar. And we wait and watch. Then, the Lord comes to us. We are witnesses to the power of God. And the encounter with God brings peace and confidence.
Like Gideon, I feel inadequate. I don't feel like I am up to the task placed before me. I long to help my family members. My heart desires to see them reconciled to Mother Church. But I cannot imagine that I am the best choice for the mission.
It is a practically impossible task.
My family is Protestant. We have been Protestant for as long as anyone can remember. Perhaps even back as far as the 1500s.
And I am the least likely to lead any family member to Christ's Church. The members of my family do not consider me a spokesperson for God, an ambassador for Christ, or a venue for grace.
I am the weakest among them.
But I put that aside. When I go to Mass, I place everything on the Altar. I wait and watch. For I know that God is mighty. I know that He frequently chooses the weakest to enlighten the strongest. The fool to confound the world's wise.
And the Lord comes to me. I kneel and intercede for my people. And I receive God's power and peace - like Gideon did.
What are you being called to do? Do you have self-doubt? Do you worry that you are not gifted enough for the task He has placed before you?
Oh, but you are. Gideon encountered the Angel of the Lord, but we have encountered the Lord Himself - not merely in an external way - for He has come inside of us. And that encounter has set us on fire, consuming fear of failure. As it is written, "Fire sprang from the rock." And our rock is the Rock of Peter.
God equips the called. He rarely calls the equipped.