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Scripture Reflections - Feb. 10
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 6: 1-21, 3-8
1 Corinthians 15: 1-11
Luke 5: 1-11

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

When you ask children what they want to be when they grow up, the answers range all the way from fireman or astronaut or nurse – to president! Wouldn’t we be surprised if a child were to tell us that they want to be a “disciple of Jesus?”

In the greatest writing of Pope Francis, his encyclical called “The Joy of the Gospel,” our Holy Father tells us that we’re all called to be disciples. Until every Catholic Christian is convinced of this, the church will never be what Jesus wants it to be.

This Sunday’s readings are all about the call of both Isaiah and Peter to answer God’s call. They both felt unworthy to accept, but finally have the courage to say “yes.” Isaiah has a vision of God sitting on his throne, trying to find someone to clean up the disastrous mess left by King Uzziah. After an angel has touched his lips with a burning coal, Isaiah cries out, “Here I am – send me.”

In the Gospel, Jesus has been preaching to the crowds from a fishing boat. He finally turns to the frustrated fisherman who has nothing to show for the night’s work and says, “put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Peter reluctantly does as the Master asks, and to his surprise, finds the nets almost breaking with the weight of hundreds of large fish. He calls for help to the second boat.

Peter falls to his knees and cries out “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Jesus says in reply, “Do not be afraid; from now on, you will be catching men.” Peter and his fellow fishermen, James and John, immediately leave the means of their livelihood for a life filled with uncertainty and danger.

What courage and generosity of heart it took for Peter and his companions, as well as for Isaiah in the Old Testament, to answer the Lord’s call. But they transformed the lives of thousands!

The season of Lent begins in another three weeks. It’s a perfect time for us to reflect on the urgings of Pope Francis to overcome our fear of being unworthy, as well as our indifference to the crisis of our present times.
In what ways will we accept the level of discipleship to which Christ is personally calling us?

Remember, the Lord knows our talents better that we do. He could choose just the job that would make us really happy. Just ask Him!

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