This Week’s Vincentian Reflection
FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
February 10, 2013
Gospel: (Luke 5: 1-11)
After he had finished speaking, Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing…when Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him…Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.
Jesus’ power manifested in the great catch of fish brings Peter to confess his sinfulness. But the story does not stop with the confession of unworthiness, but continues with Peter who then “left everything and followed him.” The appearance of God always reveals our own sinfulness, but God’s focus is elsewhere—on our call and our mission. God sees humanity as created to be good, as persons who can choose to respond to God’s call and fulfill the mission God gives. If we look for “large catches of fish” we will miss God’s message. The gospel invites us to look to the simple manifestations of holiness that indicate the presence of God, for example, in the generosity of so many volunteers, in the faithfulness of husbands and wives, in the unselfishness of parish workers, in the uncomplaining suffering of the sick, in the gracious wisdom of the elderly. The “ yes” response to our call is to imitate these good behaviors and by so doing we extend God’s reign. (Living Liturgy, p.54)
The holiness of St. Vincent and of each one of us in the last analysis is a gift of God. The holiness of a saint is a sharing in the holiness of God Himself, and we recognize holiness when we see the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the life of a person. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.316)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
How have you seen the presence of God in the “simple manifestations of holiness” in those around you?
O God, there are those who do not know your presence,
-may our lives be a sign of faith for them.
O God, there are those who live in fear and doubt,
-may our lives be a sign of hope for them.
O God, there are those who do not experience your love,
-may our lives be a sign of love for them.
O God, there are those who are poor and oppressed by others,
-may our lives be a sign of justice for them. Amen