Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is.6:1-8; Ps.138:1-5,7-8; 1Cor.15:1-11; Lk.5:1-11
“Here I am, send me.” (Is.6:9)
This week, all around us, ads will tell us ways to ‘show’ love. Today’s gospel points to one of the ways that Jesus challenges us to respond in love. Peter and his crew – tired, disappointed, ready to go home and rest from a night’s fruitless efforts – responds “yes” to the invitation to try just one more time.
I would imagine that Peter, who sat so close to Jesus in the boat as Jesus spoke to the crowds, was so moved by the power and authority of this “Master’s” words and conviction, that he was able to “leave everything and follow Him.” I would imagine that after Jesus finished speaking to the crowd and asked Peter to ‘put out into the deep and lower his nets’ that Peter could do no less than to respond to this man whose words spoke of God’s love, mercy, and healing.
Peter’s response invites us to try just one more time. I say that is LOVE.
From the prophet, Isaiah, we are asked: “Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?”
When we grow weary, and the ‘nights’ of our lives are long spent, can we call on God’s grace to help us simply try just one more time?
Scott Peck, in his book The Road Less Traveled, defines love as “the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” I would imagine that the one response and the only response to this LOVE is the one given to us by Peter. Because I have known the immense love of God in my life, I can rely on God’s everlasting strength and grace to help me just try once more to believe that God’s ways are not my ways.
If I can accept the words of Scott Peck that love is not defined by flowers, or chocolate, by Valentine Cards or sugar candy, by one day of tender words and affection, but rather by living a life that desires to extend myself for the purpose of nurturing my own and another’s spiritual growth – then, perhaps I can echo the words from Isaiah: “Here I am, send me” – yes, one more time!
May I always remember the words of Paul to the Corinthians: “the grace that God gives me has not been, and will not be, fruitless.”
Sister Maureen Murphy, O.P.