Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 4, 2007

Isaiah 6: 1-2a, 3-8

1 Corinthians 15: 1-11

Luke 5: 1-11

God's Invitation, Our Response...

In the book of Isaiah, Gods question: "Who will be our messenger?" shows that the Lord is seeking an envoy for a particular mission. Right away, the prophet volunteers: his send me shows his entire readiness for the divine call. The messenger will be sent from God, but it is coupled with human liberty and initiative.

Saint Paul reminds us of his role to hand on what he has received: the essence of the Christian faith, the death and Resurrection of Christ. It is only by the grace of God that the messenger can fulfill this mission of communicating the faith.

Lastly, the Gospel of Luke recounts how the relationship between Peter and Jesus matures. In pulling the boat away several yards, Peter does what Jesus has asked. He doesnt actually give his life to the Lord, but he gives his attention and time to Jesus of Nazareth.

This first step leads to the next invitation: "Launch out into the deep." Trustingly, Peter once more responds positively. He doesnt rely on his wisdom and experience as a fisherman but on his relationship with the one he believes to be a man of God.

The miraculous catch is another moment of truth. His boat full, Peter doesnt count up his fish as he recognizes the advantages the relationship with Jesus brings him. He recognizes himself as a sinner. And Jesus tells him, "Dont be afraid. I know who you are and you are the one I seek; I make my appeal to you; I am the one who wants a relationship with you. And that will change your life forever; your fishing will not remain the same. You will be a fisher of men." The image is taken from Peters job, pointing to both continuity and newness. The response of Peter and his companions is expressed in the terms of an immediate and radical following of Jesus.

These are texts that allow us to reflect on our own vocation both gift and responsibility -- to meditate on the call of God for a particular service and the grace which sustains us in it, the respect for where we are "at" and the maturity necessary for a truly free response. God comes to meet each one of us where we are. For each one, God opens up a way. But the response is entirely ours. On Gods part, an invitation; on our part, a human response. Where am I in this ?

—Sr. Sophie Ramond, R.A.