Scripture: Lectionary for 5th Sunday ©,Feb.10. Isaiah 6:1-2,3-8. Psalm 138:1-2,3-4,4-5,7-8. I Corinthians 15:1-11. Luke 5:1-11:
All of us have a call to follow Jesus more closely in the given state that we have chosen and which is in the Providence of God. Like Isaiah, Paul, and Peter the initiative comes from God in their callings; each has a different way of being called and each responds according to the gifts of their personality. We may want to reflect on our call on this Sunday since we have three examples from the above persons. Hopefully, we may find some similarities in their vocation and call and in ours. Isaiah and Peter were married; Paul was not.
Every call comes to us within our own weakness and limits. We take courage that the above holy persons of the Old and New Testament were called and had some of the same weakness that we have. The important point is that God calls us and by God’s grace we are able to respond as they did.
Isaiah’s lips need to be purified since his mouth will speak the words of God as a prophet. A seraph sent from God to the temple does purify his lips with a burning coal—a symbolic action from the Spirit to assure Isaiah that he will be able to fulfill his call as a prophet for he has been purified for his mission. We also need to be purified in our lips in order to speak God’s words in a positive manner and never to hurt others with our tongue.
Paul, though he is an apostle, was called as one born out of due time. Though he deems himself unworthy to be called an apostle, he realizes that through the grace of God this special call has been given to him. He will exercise it throughout his life and become the “Apostle of the Gentiles.”
Peter, in the scene given to us in the Gospel, obeys Jesus in casting the nets one more time to pull in a large catch of fish. He acknowledges his sinfulness to the Lord. Jesus then tells him he is to catch persons for the sake of the kingdom. Grace again is building on nature. Despite his limitations, Jesus will call him to be the leader among the Twelve Apostles.
Fr. Roland Faley sums up our calling in this manner: “Rather than be discouraged about our “messed up lives,” we should do well to turn them over to the Lord, open our hearts, and ask the Lord to lead.” Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.