The challenge facing all of us is to detect the voice of God in our lives and to have the courage and generosity to answer promptly. God expects us to share in his work of spreading his love and mercy. Peter offers an inspiring example in leaving his nets to become a fisher of men. Up to this time, he was engrossed in his own work. Launching out into the deep meant putting his faith and trust in Jesus who was directing him on a new pathway in life. Jesus wants us to go through life with our hand in his hand. There will be times when we are called to take a new direction and face the unknown. Our response should be no less generous that Peter’s if we are to meet the challenge of the vocation to which we are called.
2O19 February 10
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading, Isaiah 6.1-8, “And I said, here am I, send me.” (8c)
The Psalm 138, “On the day I called, you answered me.” (3a)
Second Reading, 1 Corinthians 15.1-11, “Last of all, as to one untimely born, Christ appeared also to me.” (8)
The Gospel, Luke 5.1-11, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” (8b)
Be in the Lord’s Presence
In today’s worship we have reminders of being in the presence of God. Isaiah has the vision of being in that presence and he was purified and sent on God’s mission. The psalmist sings before the presence of the angels, who stand in God’s presence. St. Paul narrates his experiencing of the presence of the risen Lord in his life along with reporting a few appearances of him, which were not found in the gospels, and Peter is in the presence of the Lord and so he frighteningly becomes aware of his sinfulness. We also find some of the effects of being aware of the presence of God with humans. Isaiah readily agrees to go on the mission for God. St. Peter is strengthened by the Lord to go on with his mission. Paul’s awareness of himself being in God’s presence enables him to go on the most difficult of the missions compared to what the other disciples achieved. Awareness of the presence of God in our life is the moment of empowerment, and we must come to this presence as often as possible and grab the opportunities offered. The wonder and beauty of that presence is what Peter and his companions experienced. Without that presence the whole night they labored and caught nothing. Within that presence they lowered the net just once and they caught more than what they have had their whole lifetime. A greater miracle was the realization of their true call and mission in life, they abandon everything and follow the Lord. What they abandoned at that moment was worth for the rest of their lifetime! However, they gained a greater reward, beyond their imagination and beyond their grasp at that time. Of course, they had to practice plenty of patience, and they had to endure a lot including giving up their lives. That is the lesson, namely, with the Lord there is fullness of life and without him there is nothing. Isaiah gets his call and mission from the presence of the Lord and his was a long and enduring one. St. Paul received them when he was knocked down by the presence of the Lord. These are great lessons for us to learn and thereby make our lives fruitful, glorious and truly rewarding. With the Lord there is fullness of life. There is the other most important lesson we have from these three characters of Prophet Isaiah, St. Paul and St. Peter. All the three become aware of their own sinfulness; “Woe to me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips!”, Isaiah (Isaiah 6.5a); “I am unfit to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God”, St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15.9); “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”, Peter (Luke 5.8b). The very awareness of our sinfulness is the way to forgiveness, salvation and entitlement for our mission for God. It is the awareness of God’s presence that cleanses, purifies, empowers and sends us to his mission. Hence, awake, be aware and be on the move!