Skip to main content

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time

During these past few weeks of Ordinary Time our readings have given us various stories of a “call to mission.”  Our readings for this last Sunday before Lent continues that theme…

Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11

Our first reading is from the book of the prophet Isaiah.  Most of the stories of the prophets begin, quite logically, with the story of their calling.  The book on Isaiah, however, follows a slightly different construct.  It opens with his great oracle of indictment against the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah.  This continues for the first 5 chapters.  Then when we get to Chapter 6, we go from oratory to narrative history.  This is where we begin our first reading, with the story of Isaiah’s calling.  That story is presented as a vision where Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on a great throne in the Temple.  Isaiah feels he is unworthy, but one of the seraphim (a class of angels) sees this and purifies his lips, purging his sins.  Then he hears the Lord calling for someone to send to his people, Isaiah replies, “Send me!”  Our Psalm mirrors this vision when we sing “In the sight of angels I will sing your praises, Lord.”  The power of the Lord has cleansed his sins, and like a baptism, is like a new creation ready to speak the word of the Lord.

Our Gospel from Luke picks up shortly after our story from last week (where Jesus is rejected in Nazareth).  He’s back on the road, heading back to Capernaum, where he meets up with Simon, along with his fishing partners James and John.  Jesus has attracted a crowd, so he asks Simon to take him out in the boat a short distance from shore.  When he finishes teaching, he then tells Simon to pull out to the deep water and cast his nets.  Simon is reluctant, having already spent the day fishing only to get nothing, but he signals his partners and together they haul in two boatloads of fish.  Simon and the others are amazed, and Jesus invites them to join him and become “fishers of men.”

Our second reading concludes our study of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, appropriately with the beginning of his closing narrative.  As is typical of his letters, he begins his conclusion with a recap of what he has taught and shown them.  By restating what he has taught them, we are reminded of the basic tenants of our faith… establishing our faith tradition, if you will, by reminding us that Christ died for our sins, was buried, rose again, a evidenced by those who saw him.  This is our tradition.  This is our story, passed from the Apostles and the evangelists, through countless generations, to us here today.  We all have the opportunity for salvation through Christ.  If this passage sounds familiar, it should… because we profess these same words in our Creed at most every Mass.  This is what we’ve been told.  This is what we believe.  This is what we pass on.

Final Thoughts:
As we listen to these stories of prophets, apostles, and even Jesus himself being called to serve the Lord, we sometimes walk away thinking that these were all extraordinary people, and that we could never live up to that calling.  If that’s what we feel, however, we’ve misinterpreted the message.  All these people, from Isaiah, to Paul, to even Jesus himself, felt unworthy at the start.  We are all called by God.  Sometimes in extraordinary ways, and sometimes in just ordinary ways.  But never doubt that what brings you to formation, what brings you to know God better, is his voice calling to you.  My advice… answer the call.


Popular posts from this blog

Post-Lent review... How did you do?

Lent is now behind us, yet in our excitement for Easter (and for Lent being over), how often to you take a moment to look back at your Lenten journey to do a post-game review?

As a volunteer leader and business school graduate, the concept of doing a formal "review" after an event or activity is a long held important practice... one that, unfortunately, tends to get overlooked even at the highest levels.  Still, it remains a staple of standard practice, and for good reason... It affords those involved, and the entire organization, a chance to review everything after the fact... what went well, what didn't, and lay the groundwork for next time.  The same is true for looking back at our Lenten journey.  So... how did you do?

I have to be honest, I sometimes fail to practice what I preach.  For as important as a post-lenten review might be, I hadn't thought of the idea until now.  I didn't even really think about it until this morning when I read the following artic…

Nuns and Nones... continued...

On 6-24-2016 I wrote a brief commentary on what we call the "nones"... that is, those people who check the box that says "none" when asked about their religious affiliation.  That commentary was based on an address by my former high school's principal at their 2016 graduation address.  But this topic of the "nones" returned to my attention with this article posted on our daily Angelus News email from the e-magazine Crux:

Notre Dame debuts digital platform to reach young Catholics, ‘nones’
Please take a moment to read it... 

Of particular interest is the increasing number of "nones," those people who claim no religious affiliation. I first heard this term a few years back from one of the speakers at our LA Religious Education Congress. The term itself grew out of a 2012 Pew Research study that showed this rising trend. Working as I do with the RCIA and Adult Faith Formation, this was a known issue, but the Pew study validated what ma…

5th Sunday of Easter

What happens when you have too much of a good thing?  When a business wins that lucrative new contract or expands into a new location?  Or taking that same idea a bit closer to home, what happens when two families merge through marriage, or when a family welcomes a new child?  We consider this kind of growth to be a good thing, but as with all things, these successes also come with their own baggage.  Our readings for this 5th Sunday of Easter have our Apostles facing similar challenges in the face of their growing successes.

The Word for the 5th Sunday of Easter Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12

Our reading from Acts of the Apostles learning the hard way about the challenges that grow out of their continued success when their number of followers continues to grow.  Up to this point the Apostles have been doing their best to address the needs of the community, both spiritual and physical, but the community has grown so large now that they are becom…