5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (7th February)

This week we have the call of Jesus’s first friends. They are brothers and partners at work which happened to be a good trade at that time in Palestine. Crowds present were pressing around Jesus so he used the natural amplification of the water to carry his voice and message to the people and borrowed Peters’ boat, climbed in and sat down to teach as Jewish Rabbis always do. He asked Peter to row out a little and then Jesus gave a homily. We don’t know what it was about but there was a call in it for Peter who had remarkable insight into his own character. Peter was asked to catch fish in the daytime. Having struggled all night and having caught nothing Simon Peter was doubtful but he did what he was told. To the amazement of all they netted a superabundance of fish, so many as to need another boat to be filled to the brim. The four friends were speechless at such a catch until Simon Peter spoke: “Leave me, Lord, I am sinful”. Peter with all his imperfections threw himself upon Divine Mercy. So many people have changed because of this quote.

Similar to Isaiah’s call (Is.6) Jesus told him not to be afraid. This phrase occurs very many times throughout the Bible and is applicable to each one of us today. We are all called to catch and attract people by radiating and sharing God’s love to those with whom we live and to all with whom we come in contact with throughout each day. To do this we have to be unattached to whatever blocks us from following Jesus, and not to be afraid. Look up Isaiah 49:1: Reflect and apply it to yourself now.cavan april 20 2010 406 - Copy

There are over 700 calls in the Bible. Our first call was at Baptism, when we joined God’s family of love. A call is an invitation awaiting a response. When we look upon events as events that just happen to us, our behaviour will be one of reaction and not response. To respond is behaviour proper to the human person gifted with free will and intelligence. It is not a call until it is heard. It is not effective until it is accepted. The mystery of sin is not to hear the call or respond to the choice. God’s call is always an invitation, never a forced summons. God calls us daily and doesn’t ask if we are suitable, only if we are available.

Our destiny depends on our response to God, because we are products of an unconditional Lover so we can choose by responding positively with a “Yes,” or negatively with a “No” so choose well.

1. When was the last time I heard a call and answered it positively? Could you share that example with a friend of yours?
2. Can you recall a time when you ignored the call and reacted selfishly? You could share this with Jesus and try to do better today.

Sr Dympna Travers O.P

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