Scripture: Lectionary 434. Sept. 5. Colossians 1:9-14. Psalm 98:2-3,3-4,5-6. Luke 5:1-11:
One of the verses of Luke in today’s Gospel came alive for the Marianists on September 3, 2000, the year Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, our founder was beatified. Pope John XXIII was declared blessed on that same day. In speaking of the Founder, John Paul referred to the text that caught our attention. Apparently, it was one of the favorite texts of John Paul II. I remembered him saying it, “Duc in altum…Put out into the deep and lower your nets for a catch.” This certainly was appropriate for us in that we are called to listen to Jesus’ voice and to go out into deep waters and be ready to bring in a large catch. Jesus was not talking about fishing, he was addressing the need to go out and bring in people to believe in the Good News of the Gospel. This captured the Marianist Mission of cooperating with Mary in the mission of her Son by our being sons and daughters of Mary interested in the same things she is, namely, to do whatever her Son tells us (John 2:5). Luke, the author of this scene, is very focused on bringing the news of Jesus to everyone. He has a universal message similar to what we have seen in Isaiah when it comes to proclaiming the word of God. Vatican II put out the same message when it calls all of us to holiness and wholeness, to inclusivity, and dignity in the manner in which we live and reach out to others to embrace the same characteristics as our Founder promoted when saying, “You are all missionaries.” He himself wanted the title of missionary apostolic to show us the way as a model for the call to holiness and the apostolate. Luke records Jesus’ completion of the invitation by saying to the apostles, “From now on you will be catching people.”
The invitation is a prayer and a motivation for calling others to be part of the Marianist Family in its lay and religious branches. Vocations are vital to the continuation of Father Chaminade’s vision at Saragossa in 1897 at the shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar in Spain. There are brothers, sisters, and priests in the religious branches of the Congregation of the Society of Mary and the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. The names of these two congregations imply inclusivity and a close intimate relationship with Mary the Mother of Jesus. In fact, two of her feasts are implied in the title Society of Mary (Holy Name of Mary, Sept. 12, patronal feast of the Society; Daughters of Mary Immaculate, F.M.I. refers to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8.
Recently, these lines from Luke or better from Jesus himself were heard on a cd that had the voice of John Paul II proclaiming them in a devotional reflection combined with Psalms and music. “Duc in altum” the Latin for go out into the deep…you will be catching or attracting others to the same task was included in this media presentation. I will use this as a mantra during this month in which there are several Marian Feasts that have great meaning for me and my fellow brothers and sisters and lay members of the Family of Mary.
Let us then as Colossians says, “Give thanks to the Lord for having made us worthy t share the lot of the saints in light. Through Jesus (the Light of the world) we have received redemption, for forgiveness of our sins. Amen.”
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.