Luke has presented several different ways to look at Jesus in order to discover who he is.
Today Jesus calls his first disciples, collaborators in the mission he has come to accomplish among us.
The call will help Peter to acknowledge his indignity, his sin, and at the same time to learn that our sins do not make the Lord depart from us, on the contrary he comes closer to us to save us, to give his life so that we may have life. The Lord does not want our sin, but he loves us.
Thus today the Church liturgy invites us to reflect on our own vocation, looking at the vocation of the first followers.
FIRST READING Is 6:1-2a, 3-8
Ø Isaiah tells us about the vision he had of the Majesty of God.
Ø He tells us that the vision happened in the year of the death of King Uzziah around the year 740 or 739 BC.
Ø In the second book of Kings and in the 2 book of Chronicles this King is also called Azariah (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chronicles 26)
o Isaiah sees God seating on a high throne. Isaiah was an official at the court of the King, it seems very normal that when God wants to reveal himself to him he uses images which Isaiah will understand. God is seen as a Monarch, a King.
o The description of the celestial liturgy performed by the seraphims makes us think of the liturgies or worship in the Temple of Jerusalem, the smoke of the incense.
o Over the throne Isaiah sees some winged celestial creatures he calls them seraphim, which reminds of the word “serap” which means “to burn.”
o They cry out to each other “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts! His glory fills the earth!
o The voices are so loud that the place is shaken.
o This is an awesome vision in which God is seen as a King of an extraordinary majesty, surrounded by those creatures which are on fire.
o In the presence of God the human being experiences his or her indignity, his or her sin and becomes conscious of his or her sinfulness.
o Thus Isaiah acknowledges that his lips are impure, and also those of his people.
o Fear invades Isaiah, since it was a common belief, that whoever sees God dies.
o But God does not abandon his sinful people, on the contrary through the incarnation, God comes to live among us.
o To purify the lips of Isaiah God sends a Seraphim with a burning coal to touch his lips.
o And God who always calls us to entrust a mission to us, seems to speak to himself saying: whom shall I sent? Who will go in our name?
o Isaiah who is burning in divine love responds with enthusiasm “Here I am, send me!”
Ø This is how Isaiah tells us his vocation, his call to be a prophet.
Ø His mission will be difficult, since he will speak but they will not listen to him, they will not understand because they are afraid that if they understand they will have to change their lives, they will have to allow God to convert them.
Ø This vision of the Majesty of God will help Isaiah all his life long to see the injustices committed against the poor, the least of society as an idolatry, a worship of an alien god, the god of selfishness, of money, of power. Injustice will become an offense against God, before being an offense against another human being.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM – Ps 138
IN THE SIGHT OF THE ANGELS I WILL SING YOUR PRAISES, LORD
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart
For you have heard the words of my mouth
In the presence of the angels I will sing your praise
I will worship at your holy temple
And give thanks to your name
Because of your kindness and your truth
For you have made great above all things
Your name and your promise
When I called, you answered me
You built up strength within me
All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you O Lord
When they hear the words of your mouth
And they shall sing of the ways of the Lord
“Great is the glory of the Lord.”
Your right hand saves me.
The Lord will complete what he has done for me
Your kindness, O Lord, endures forever
Forsake not the work of your hands.
It is a psalm of thanksgiving recited by the people and by the kings as well, all are called to praise God.
GOSPEL LK 5:1-11
ü Jesus is preaching, people are around him pressing him because they want to listen to the fascinating words of the young teacher, Jesus the son of Joseph of Nazareth.
ü And he gets into one of the boats, the boat of Peter to be able to speak from the boat. Peter and his companions are mending their nets.
ü From the boat he speaks and speaks, and all are pleased listening to him.
ü When he finishes teaching the people he asks Peter to throw their nets to catch fish.
ü The fishermen know that you do not fish at noon when there is so much light, and especially if they could not catch any fish during the right time at night.
ü Peter who has been a fisherman for many years knows that, but on the word of Jesus he throws the nets, and they catch a large number of fish.
ü And Peter, like Isaiah acknowledges his sinfulness, his unworthiness in the presence of the God three times holy. He starts discovering that Jesus is more than what her sees in him.
ü Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.
ü Isaiah was purified by a burning coal that a seraphim took from the incense. Peter will hear the words of Jesus telling him, “Fear not! you will be fisher of men.”
ü As a consequence of the vision Isaiah is sent to prophesize to his people. From the encounter of Peter with Jesus, Peter becomes fisher of men. Both Isaiah and Peter are called to proclaim among their brothers and sisters the wonderful works of our amazing God, to discover his presence among us.
ü Isaiah says “Here I am” Peter and his companions leave their nets and everything else and follow Jesus.
In this encounter of Jesus with the fishermen from Galilee there is not fire, no seraphim, no smoke, nothing extraordinary, everything happens very quietly, peacefully. This is because God has decided to become incarnate and to live among us. That is the difference between the Old and the New Testaments.
SECOND READING 1Cor 15:1-11
Paul reminds his community of Corinth the gospel he has preached to them. A gospel which Paul in turn received from the community of the believers, thus Paul is handing over the tradition of the young church.
What he has handed over to them is
o That Christ died for our sins
o That he was buried and
o That he was raised on the third day. All of this happened in accordance with the Scriptures.
o That he appeared to Cephas (Peter), to the twelve and to more than five hundred brothers and sisters.
Finally the risen and glorified Lord appeared to Paul,
He considers himself the least of the apostles, because he persecuted the church.
But he says that he has worked harder than any of them
Although he rectifies and says that it is the grace of God that has done the work in him.
Paul says that faith has to follow the preaching, the listening to the word of God.
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.
SWEENEY, Marvin A. The Prophetic Literature.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía.
RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras – Ciclo C. San Pablo 2006.
SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.
SAGRADA BIBLIA, Versión Oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.
when this holy man was elected archbishop of this island, my confessor brought me the news, very worried considering it impossible to put a hand to the work. But I was so sure of what he had said to me-“not to doubt that the work would be done that way” – I was so certain of this as if it were God who has told it to me through the mouth of this holy soul. So, I told the confessor to be happy that certainly this was convenient to the realization of the work. So it happened Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 63.
I had three reasons for not eating. First, because I was able not to--I had no appetite, especially when I had to do a lot of preaching or had to hear large numbers of confessions. Second, on certain occasions when I did have some appetite, I wouldn't eat, especially when I was about to start on a trip, so as not to be heavy on my feet. Finally, I abstained from eating in order to edify people because I noticed that they were always watching me. Thus I ate very little even though I was hungry. St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 404