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Back Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
The older I get, the more humbling it is for me to accept gifts. Older individuals oftentimes become providers; called upon to give of themselves and their resources to come to the aid of others. It is very humbling to just accept an undeserved gift. In this weekend’s Biblical lessons Isaiah is given a gift. The gift is a vision of heaven in all its glory. The angels around God’s throne begin a hymn of praise that we too join in at Mass: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts! All the earth is filled with His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3). Having received this gift, Isaiah is humbled and ashamed of his unworthiness. However, God enables those He calls and so an angel touches Isaiah’s lips with a coal from the holy altar, thus purifying him. After receiving this additional pure gift of forgiveness, he is filled with courage and at the heavenly hosts’ request, “who will go and speak Our words to the people” Isaiah jumps forward: “Here I am, I said; send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). In our continual reading of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus with a crowd in tow approaches the shoreline and gets into a boat belonging to Simon. Simon must have been humbled to have been paid attention to by this master teacher. After Jesus concludes His discourse, Simon follows the direction of Jesus to put out into deeper water for a catch, however doubtful of any good result for they had been hard at work all day and caught nothing. They were the professionals after all. The gift of Jesus’ presence among Simon is compounded with the gift of favorable results and thus Simon is aware that he is unworthy to be in Jesus’ presence. “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8). Instead, Jesus commissions Simon to be an apostle of His movement. This is a pure gift. Many of us were baptized as infants. The fact that we were made part of God’s family is pure gift. The secret to the blessing is to be open to the gift we have received. We are never worthy to be a child of God. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s loving attention. God’s attention to us is pure gift. However, we have to be open to God’s attention; God’s gift of Himself. St. Paul in the first letter to the Corinthians gives witness to the fact that the risen Jesus appeared to many after His resurrection and last of all to him though he felt he was the most unworthy of all, for he was persecuting those who followed “The Way” of Jesus. St. Paul received the gift of God’s vision of Jesus and God’s forgiveness. This gift enabled him to become one of the most influential teachers of the truth of the Christian faith. How about you who were Baptized and anointed? Jesus, help us receive your presence in our lives. Reveal yourself to us. Touch us with your glory. Enable us, though unworthy, to be messengers of your unconditional love for others no matter the cost. Amen!