Reflection on the Daily Readings for 9/03/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 434. Colossians 1:9-14. Psalm 98:2-3.3-4.5-6. Luke
Peter expresses his feelings quite openly. He is among the extroverts from
what we can glean from the Gospels. He even merited enough attention to
merit a book written by experts in New Testament exegesis called “Peter in
the New Testament” (edited by ecumenical group under R.E.Brown,Augsburg
Press, 1973). Peter in the incident recalled and narrated by Luke is used
today in the liturgy. We see how Peter listens to Jesus despite his doubts
about when and where to fish, and then experiences the miraculous catch.
He cries out, “Lord, leave me. I am a sinful man.” Of course, Jesus does
forgive him and then draws a lesson about Peter’s mission as an apostle.
“From now on you will catch people.”
The text is inspirational for those in religious life who are trying hard
to attract others to the brotherhood, sisterhood, and priesthood. It has
significance for the Marianists who are developing new ways of helping
young people to think about making a vowed commitment. One of the
successul ways is through inviting the young to table fellowship both in
the Eucharist and in the meals offered there as often as twice or three
times a week for this purpose. The end of the meal is frequently had with
a question like “How did Jesus touch your life today.” All present are
asked to share on answering this question. The fact that everything is
around the table of the Lord and the religious makes the young persons
appreciate how table talk can be fruitful for enhancing one’s spiritual
life as well as a way of discernment.
Returning to the text, we realize that we too should become feeling persons
when it comes to expressing our sorrow to Jesus for our doubts, sins of
omission or commission and especially for those sins which have hurt our
neighbor. Like Peter we must come quickly to a resolution rather than
letting things simmer and reach a boiling point. Like Peter we need to
cooperate with the Lord when he asks us to cast our nets out into the deep.
In fact, on Sept. 3, 2000 the Pope declared Blessed the founder of the
Marianists William Joseph Chaminade. He, John Paul II also used words from
the text we have in the Eucharist for this day.
Luke’s narrative naturally is a leading light for considering vocation
work. We need people to dedicate their lives to Jesus that goes beyond
their usual fishing job like that of Peter, James, and John. We pray for
those who are more directly involved in vocation work to keep setting out
into the deep and casting their nets trusting there will be a catch. All
of us, whether religious or lay, can apply the text and its call to our own
ministries, work, and apostolates. We are all called to be disciples and
apostles of the Good News about Jesus and to live it out in our lives. One
of our charges is to set out to catch people for Jesus.
We then realize the narrative is not an ordinary fish story but one that
has apostolic and missionary implications. We are all in this together as
the Body of Christ. Amen.