Many of us probably wonder, “why has the Lord Jesus chosen me to be His disciple? I have lots of baggage; I have so many wounds.” The truth is that many of the Lord’s disciples were like us: they were men and women with a “history,” with scars from wounds inflicted by self and/or by others.
Think of St. Matthew the tax collector, whose feast day is celebrated today. When the Lord Jesus called him, he was working in one of the most despised professions in all of Israel — he was a tax collector for the hated Roman occupiers. Tax collectors were probably as despised as anyone could be in Israel; maybe more than prostitutes (because they would have been seen as prostituting themselves to the Roman oppressors and gaining wealth by cheating their fellow Jews). But Jesus called Matthew anyway, and he began immediately to draw other “sinners” to follow the Lord Jesus too.
It doesn’t matter where we have been, or how sinful our lives might have been in the past. What matters most is “where am I now, and where am I heading?” Our Blessed Lord doesn’t choose “perfect people” to do His work — in fact, the so-called “perfect people” might get in the way of the great work of God because they might see it as their work, their success, rather than seeing that God can do great things through broken instruments. We are all called to open our hearts and souls, to allow the Lord Jesus to do great things in and through us, to reach other sinners through us. Never forget the words of St. John Chrysostom: “There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not work for the salvation of others.”