5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 6:1, 3-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
The Gospel this weekend is this:
While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. 2 He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." 5 Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets." 6 When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man."
9 For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, 10 and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." 11 When they brought their boats to the shore, they left
everything and followed him.
The first reading is this:
Isaiah 6:1, 3-8
In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, with the train of his garment filling the temple… 3 "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!" they cried one to the other. "All the earth is filled with his glory!" 4 At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said, "Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with it. "See," he said, "now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged." 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" "Here I am," I said; "send me!"
The secnd reading is this:
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Now I am reminding you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand. 2 Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; 4 that he was buried; that he was raised on the third
day in accordance with the scriptures; 5 that he appeared to Kephas, then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 After that he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God (that is) with me. 11 Therefore, whether it be I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
This Sunday is about the call to follow Jesus Christ in his mission.
Jesus turns failure into success for Peter and Co. and says that he'll make them fishers of men! The first reading is of the call of Isaiah to be a prophet, in spite of him being 'of impure lips'. The second reading tells of the success of Paul's mission in Corinth. It's a Sunday about God's call for help in the mission.
It makes it clear that the call isn't just for people who have lived well in the past. It's a call to look forward. Isaiah was surprised because he reckoned that he was a man 'of unclean lips', and while people were listening to Jesus preaching, Peter and the lads were more concerned about fishing! We are challenged to think honestly, have we really made good use of our lives up to now? ...and of course are we willing now to push out into 'deeper water' and 'cast our nets'? God is tremendously ambitious about us all, and He's well able to work marvels, but there's one thing that He won't do: He won't impose. God is Love, and love won't impose. Love calls, and pleads, and longs for a 'yes', and keeps pleading. But do we answer?
Let's ask ourselves honestly, have we put our lives to good use up to now? And will we from now on? In other words, are we going to love well? Our eternal joy after death, doesn't depend on catching the riches, honours and pleasures of a 'fishy world'. It depends on us having loved well during these few years on earth. Do we really want to help others? The world needs hope and love ...and faith. Going back to the call of Moses, God says "I have heard the cry of my people" (Ex 2:24 and 3:7) and Moses set to work for their freedom. I pondered Jesus on the cross saying "I'm thirsty" and asked inside "Thirsty for what?". Maybe I'm crazy, but I felt the answer was: "I'm thirsty for you Dara - and for your help". As a young fellow I did something of social services visiting old-folk and worked briefly in medicine as far afield as Zambia, although that was mixed with plenty of selfishness also, but it struck me that mankind needs a cure deep in the heart. I saw some really mal-noureished people, and wondered how a loving God could allow that, yet the U.N. tells us that the world has four times the alimentation it needs. I even saw groups of people suffering from leprosy, and it's completely preventable in this century. The problem is that the human hearts throughout the world are quite 'leprotic' - insensitive - they don't really feel sympathy. The more I thought of his Words, the more I felt called to join Jesus in his fishing. It meant leaving my own 'boats' behind, and pushing out into deeper water in the boats of this Verbum Dei community, and I'm glad. It involved being criticised etc., but I don't mind. I'll 'go underground' if necessary'. The ancient Christians had to meet in hiding in the 'catecoombs' of Rome! I'll go in a wheelchair if necessary!
What really bowled me over was the mercy of God. He forgives debts and even endows a massive inheritance! As St Agustine wrote, 'the devil sees man coming to life after an experience of God's tremendous mercy, and he must then regret having ever tempted us!'.
In case the role of preaching seems like 'a boat' in which you don't belong, remember that it may simply mean chatting with friends over coffee, and also that God really pleads for it. Moses objected at first: "But I can't speak well", and the reply was: "But I am God"! (Ex 4:10). The solution turned up in the form of Aaron's good diction. But it was Moses who had to pass on to Aaron what to say. Will you pass it on? Also, the choice of David (who became the famous King David) among the sons of Jesse was surprising, because he was the youngest and was out busy in the fields (1 Sam 16). But will we let God raise our ambitions and quell our fear of failure and disgrace? He says through Isaiah that even fire won't burn his messenger (Is 43:1).
God doesn't want us to be like spectators watching swimmers, but rather He wants us to dive in and join them... even if we don't feel like we're good swimmers. 'Lowering the nets' for me meanns lowering my pride. The M.S. helps in that! In case it seems exagerrated to you that I send out this meditation as a 'call' to mission, take note that in the gospel today: 'They signaled to those in the other boats to come to help them' (Lk 5:7).
What does 'go out deeper' mean for me? Be more active in loving? Should I do more in spreading the faith? Stand up better to people's criticism? (I ‘stand up’ in a wheelchair!). It's easy to find something to criticise in the Church, but should I be doing more to help cure it? Jesus on the cross is thirsty, for what? Perhaps for you and I!
5° Domingo: Is 6:1, 3-8. 1°Cor 15:1-11. Lc 5:1-11
Este Domingo es de la llamada a seguir a Jesucristo en su misión.
Jesús cambia el fallo en éxito para Pedro y compañeros ¡y dice qué les hará pescadores de hombres! La primera lectura es de la llamada de Isaías a ser profeta, a pesar de ser ‘de labios impuros’. La segunda lectura habla del éxito de la misión de Pablo en Corinto. Es un domingo sobre la llamada de Dios.
Clarifica que la llamada no es solamente para personas que han sido muy buenas en el pasado. Nos llama a mirar adelante. Sorprendió a Isaías porque se vio como hombre ‘de labios impuros’, ¡y mientras que la gente escuchaba a Jesús, Pedro y compañía estuvieron más preocupados por la pesca! Pero conviene preguntarnos honestamente, si hemos aprovechado bien de nuestras vidas hasta ahora. ¿Estamos dispuestos a ‘bogar mar adentro’ y echar las redes? Dios es tremendamente ambicioso con todos nosotros, y es bien capaz de hacer maravillas, pero hay una cosa que no puede hacer: no puede imponer. Dios es Amor, y el amor no impone. El amor llama y anhela un ‘sí’, y sigue llamando. Pero ¿respondemos?
Que nos preguntemos honestamente, si ¿hemos usado bien nuestras vidas hasta ahora? Es decir ¿hemos amado bien? Nuestra felicidad eterna después de la muerte no depende de haber pescado las riquezas, los placeres y honores del mundo infiable. Depende de haber amado bien durante estos pocos años en la tierra. ¿Queremos amar a otros de verdad? El mundo necesita la esperanza y el amor ...y la fe. Volviendo a la llamada de Moisés, Dios dice “He oído el llorar de mi gente” (Ex 2:24 y 3:7) y Moisés empezó a trabajar para su liberación. Al contemplar a Jesús en la cruz diciendo “tengo sed”, pregunté por dentro “¿tienes sed de qué?. Quizá soy loco, pero sentí la respuesta: “De ti y de tu ayuda”. Hice algo de servicio social visitando a los viejos y a las viejas, y trabajé un poco en medicina, incluso en Zambia. Había egoísmo en mí también, pero me impactó cuánto la humanidad necesita una curación al fondo del corazón. Ví a algunos realmente mal-nutridos y me pregunté ¿cómo podría un Dios amante hacer aquello? Pero las Naciones Unidas dicen que el mundo tiene cuatro veces más alimentación que lo necesario. Aún vi a grupos con efectos de la lepra, y es totalmente evitable en este siglo. El problema es que los corazones humanos por todo el mundo están bastantes ‘leprosos’ – insensibles – no sienten solidaridad. Cuanto más escuché su Palabra, más me sentí llamado a ayudar a Jesús en su pesca. Tuve que dejar mis ‘barcas’ y ‘bogar mar-adentro’ en esta comunidad Verbum Dei, y me hizo feliz. Suponía aguantar muchas críticas, pero me daba igual. ¡Las reuniones de cristianos del siglo 2º tuvieron que ser escondidas en las catacumbas de Roma!
Lo que me ganó era la misericordia de Dios. Perdona deudas y aún regala una herencia grandísima. Como escribió San Agustín, ‘El diablo ve al hombre naciendo de nuevo después de darse cuenta de la misericordia de Dios, ¡y seguramente le da pena habernos tentado!”.
Por si acaso el papel de predicador te parece ‘un barco’ del que no perteneces, recuerda que puede significar simplemente el charlar con amigos tomando un café. También Dios realmente lo anhela. Moisés no lo quería al principio: “Pero no soy capaz de hablar bien”, y la respuesta era: “Pero yo soy Dios!”! (Ex 4:10). Surgió la solución en Aarón que podía hablar bien. Pero era Moisés que tenía que entregarle el mensaje para anunciar. ¿Lo entregarás tú? También la elección de David (quien llegó a ser el Rey David) entre los hijos de Jesé era sorprendente, porque era el más joven y estaba ocupado trabajando en los campos (1° Sam 16). Pero ¿dejaremos a Dios aumentar nuestras ambiciones y apagar nuestros miedos de fracaso y vergüenza? Dice Isaías que ni siquiera el fuego quemará a su mensajero (Is 43, 1).
Dios no quiere vernos como espectadores mirando nadadores, sino que nos quiere ver bucear para juntarnos con ellos. “Echar las redes” significa para mí también bajar mi orgullo. Si te parece exagerado que yo envíe este mensaje como “llamada” a la misión, recuerda que en el evangelio de hoy: “Señalaron a las otras barcas para venir en ayuda” (Lc 5, 7).
¿Qué significa “bogar mar adentro” para mí? ¿Amar más? ¿Debería hacer más compartiendo la fe? ¿Aguantar mejor la crítica de la gente? Es fácil criticar la Iglesia, pero ¿debería hacer más en ayudar? ¿Jesús en la cruz está sediento de qué? Quizás, sediento de ti y de mí!
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