In the first reading, the angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and addresses him as “valiant warrior”. Gideon cannot understand it because his clan is the weakest in Manasseh and he is the least important in his family. Yes, it is the Lord who empowers, strengthens, and sends forth those whom he has called and chosen. As we read this story we may remind ourselves that God is constantly calling us too. Our lack of talent or education or ability will never be an excuse. We can trust that he is always on our side, and we do not need extraordinary signs of his presence, although things may happen which will surprise us. He is, after all, “the God of surprises”.