Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8; Ps 138:1-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11
In the readings this weekend we have the call of two major evangelists in our biblical history. They realized they were sinners. We are also sinners, not perfectly following Jesus. Isaiah is purified through an angel bringing a hot coal from God’s altar. He realized his sinfulness but God cleansed it for Isaiah’s future mission.
In Luke’s gospel today, Peter is the first called, followed by his fishing partners, James and John. They listened to Jesus preaching from Peter’s boat. After working hard all night, Jesus told them to put out into the deep. They had caught nothing but at Jesus words they moved into deep water. They caught so many fish Peter asked for help from James and John. They filled both boats to nearly sinking. They were so amazed that they left fishing to follow Jesus and catch people for the kingdom of God.
At the end of Mark and Matthew’s gospels, Jesus’ followers were told to go forth to invite the whole world into God’s kingdom. They were to announce the good news of freedom from sin and freedom in Jesus. By our baptism we were invited to come to Jesus and see what his new kingdom was about. We need to be formed into it, as were those countless men and women in the last two thousand years to "Come and see; go and tell." That is the good news of joy in telling others about Jesus, of His freedom and resurrection into newness of life.
Where is our culture today? Bishop Robert Barron, speaking at the "World Meeting of Families," last October in Philadelphia, spoke of our call to come to Jesus and be formed into his image alive and working in the world. We are to bring the newness of God’s love alive. First in our daily life with Christ. Then as we are empowered to bring His love to others. Jesus wants us to be His ambassadors making the world a better place to live.
Whom is God calling to ambassadors of good against this darkness? What 20- and 30-year-olds are being called and anointed by God to be on fire for Him to catch the great quantity of fish for Jesus? Who will join us with their fishnets to help fill our churches with new and excited members? The more we are excited about Jesus’ love, the more we want to share it with others.
St. Paul tells us today in 1 Corinthians 15 is that the gospel we preach is that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. He was buried yet rose on the third day. Countless numbers over two millennia have seen Jesus. By our baptism and confirmation we are being called, formed and sent out to show the love of Jesus. Who of you can say “yes” to this mission and call of Christ? Do not be afraid, Jesus will give us all the graces we need to do his work.
Have a wonder-filled week as you come closer to Jesus and begin our Lenten journey of formation this week.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2016 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)