February 10, 2019 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Fr Jim Miller

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 IS 6:1-2A, 3-8

Responsorial Psalm PS 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8

  1. (1c) In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

Reading 2 1 COR 15:1-11

Alleluia MT 4:19

Come after me
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 5:1-11

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time—February 9 & 10, 2019


Trivia question:   What do Lake Gennesaret, Sea of Galilee and the Sea of Tiberias have in common.—They are different names for the same body of water.

Kind of like the Knights of Columbus hall downtown is now known as the Joliet Event Center.

            The readings have a theme of people feeling unworthy and still being invited to fulfill God’s plan.   In the first reading Isaiah has a vision of the Lord and the Seraphim cry out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!  All the earth is filled with his glory!”   This is sung or recited in our Masses after the preface and before the Eucharistic Prayer.  This was also sung in the synagogue morning prayer from at least the second century.   The second half comes from Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and was added to the Isaiah text at least by the sixth century.

            Isaiah was clearly awe-struck by the vision he received.  His reaction was to realize and admit his sinfulness:  “For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips”.

            The second reading reminds us of a similar response from Paul after his encounter with the risen Christ on the way to Damascus:  “For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”  The Gospel continues the pattern with Peter’s reaction to the miraculous catch of fish:  “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

            These readings remind us that we are all sinners and none of us are worthy of the presence of God.   But God still loves us and calls us to be instruments of God’s love.   We can still be a Eucharistic minister, a lector, a sacristan, an usher, a server, a member of the choir, a greeter, a member of a parish committee as long as we are honestly striving for goodness and following God’s call to holiness in our state of life.

            As we enter this Valentine’s Day Week I wonder how many husbands’ and wives’ feel unworthy of each other.   This is a good time to show your appreciation for each other and this is also World Marriage Day, February 10.  

            I was reading about a spiritual director at a minor seminary talking to 13 and 14 year old boys that they should not be afraid to tell him they wanted to leave the seminary.   He said he would take any excuse they gave but one.  He said “Don’t anybody dare tell me he doesn’t want to be a priest because he’s unworthy. . .   Nobody’s worthy to be a priest.”  In reality none of us is worthy to carry out any ministry God gives us; but God still calls us to ministry.   With God’s grace and our openness to God’s Will we can each accomplish a lot.  In the life of faith we are called to persistence and perseverance.  Some things may seem hopeless.   Peter must have thought that Jesus was out of his mind when he said to set out into the deep part of the lake and lower the nets for a catch.   Peter knew the fish would now be down too deep for the nets to be effective but Jesus surprises Peter with so many fish that they had to call for another boat!!   You may be surprised when you say yes to God.   I have been surprised by how God has blessed me.

Questions to ponder:          Were you an unlikely disciple?

                                                What unlikely talents did grace unlock in you?        


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