READINGS for 2007-09-06
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” – Luke 5:4
“Wannabe ka ba or wanna be iba?” the softdrink commercial goes. In his book If You Really Knew Me, W ould You Still Like Me? Fr. Eugene Kennedy wrote that society rewards people for being alike and not for being different, an idea that is relevant to our times. Mediocrity is seeping unnoticed into our system like a powdered drug mixed into the bandwagon of modernity and fashion. Moral rebels are labeled as “freaks.”
Worse, this scenario is aggravated by “simplistic” thinking. Psychotherapist Scott Peck advocates that, “One of the major dilemmas we face both as individuals and as a society is simplistic thinking — or failure to think at all. It isn’t just a problem, it is the problem.”
We need to break free from this quagmire of stagnation and in our hearts, hear Jesus’ cry, “Duc en altum! Put out the nets of your minds and hearts into deep water!”
Let’s give up rootlessness and shallowness. It’s time we delve deeper into the grace of responsibility and strengthen our commitment to love — our God, self, family, careers, businesses, missions and nation.Dare to be a Jesus freak — and rejoice in the exclusive joy of hard work! Obet C.
Am I afraid to be different? To be labeled as a Jesus freak?
Set my heart ablaze, so that zeal for your house consumes me!
There is indeed an expectation from the Lord that we will live in a way that reflects the faith we proclaim. That is, our faith must find its way into the way that we live and express our lives. The degree to which we successfully do this is the degree to which we are being faithful to the call to be holy and to evangelize others through the way that we live. This is no easy call, but it is the call that is upon each and every Christian.
9 From the day we heard this, we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding 10 to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God, 11 strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. 13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
P S A L M
Psalm 98:2-3, 3-4, 5-6
R: The Lord has made known his salvation.
2 The LORD has made his salvation known in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. 3 He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. (R) All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. 4 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. (R) 5 Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the LORD. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus calls men to be His apostles nearly 2000 years ago. He is still doing exactly the same thing today. Yes, the means is slightly different, however, the call is still being placed before young men and women today that they might give their lives in the service of the Church as priests and religious. There seem to be so few who are taking up the call. Why is this? Perhaps it is the secular nature of our age? Perhaps it is the difficulty of following such a selfless call? Perhaps it is for other reasons? Whatever the reason we should pray that more will hear the call and respond generously to it!
1 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.
think: There is indeed an expectation from the Lord that we will live in a way that reflects the faith we proclaim.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Daniel 3
HIS HANDS REMAIN
The Gospel today was the Gospel on my ordination day. I was only 28 then. I could barely empathize with Simon Peter then when he seemed to have complained to the Lord, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing.” I was just about to start “working” then for the Lord.
Twelve years later, I know very well not only what Simon Peter meant but also how he felt when he said those words to Jesus. I have had my nights of wrestling with doubts, saying, “Is it worth it?” I have had my days of asking myself, “Will this work out?” I had moments when I not only failed but also felt that I was a failure. But twelve years are not enough for me to forget that Simon Peter nonetheless trusted the Lord and obeyed Him. “But at Your command I will lower the nets,” Simon Peter also said. What followed – the miraculous catch of fish – likewise I keep in my heart.
When Simon Peter and his friends went fishing all by themselves, they caught nothing. Though seasoned fishermen they were, they pulled ashore with empty nets. But when they went fishing with Jesus, they had a catch that was more than what their nets could hold. I know the difference not because I am a keen reader of the Gospel but because I catch nothing, too, when I venture without Jesus. After the great catch, Simon Peter pleaded that Jesus leave him. Should he not even more beg Jesus to stay with him and go out with him to the sea each time he would fish? Should he not propose to Jesus to be his business associate? Simon Peter realized that Jesus did more than just a miraculous catch of fish. Jesus caught him instead. Simon Peter must have felt that he was but a tadpole in a possible school of fish. To his estimation, he should not belong to the company that Jesus ought to keep. He was too tainted, marred, blemished, dirty, stained, and sinful to be too close to the Lord and be counted among His chosen ones. But while fairytales are fiction, Jesus’ kiss alone can truly turn a frog into a prince. He made Simon Peter the Prince of the Apostles. Jesus’ love transformed the fisherman into a fisher of men. Having been caught himself Simon Peter was called and chosen to catch others for Jesus. After twelve years, the same love of the Lord for me abides. When my bishop ordained me, he placed his hands on my head and then, after a very short while, he withdrew them. But the hands of Jesus remain. Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: God keeps His promises.
O God of eternal fidelity, thank You for Your faithfulness. Please forgive me when I doubt Your fidelity and when I am unfaithful to You. Give me the courage and generosity to lower down the nets at Your Word. Please let Your hands stay on me. Amen.
St. Magnus, abbot, pray for us.
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