Theme: THE GRACE OF GOD FORGIVES US OUR SINS AND CALLS US TO BE APOSTLES
- Isaiah 6:1-8;
- Psalm 137 (138): 1-5. 7-8. R/ v. 1;
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (Longer Form)
- Luke 5:1-11
- Today is the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. The readings today tell us that the grace of God forgives us our sins and calls us to be apostles!
The gospel today tells us that after the miraculous catch of fish, Peter was overwhelmed and told Jesus to leave him, because he was a sinful man; but Jesus did not leave him, instead Jesus told him not to be afraid and called him to be a fisher of men, that is, to be his apostle!
The gospel tells us that Peter, James and John, and Andrew (NJB) responded immediately and totally to the call of Jesus to be his apostles!
“They left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:11; SM)
In front of God’s grace that forgives us our sins and calls us to be apostles, the only proper response is immediate and total!
And more importantly, our mission as apostles will not fail, but will succeed; because it is not from us, but it is from the grace of God! Thus the miraculous catch of fish!
- The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us of the call of the prophet Isaiah. Again, Isaiah was a sinner. He was a man of unclean lips and he lived among a people of unclean lips.
But again, the Lord touched his lips with a live coal from the altar and forgave his sins and called him to be his prophet! And again, Isaiah responded immediately and totally!
“Here I am, send me.” (Is 6:8; SM)
Again, in front of God’s grace that forgives us our sins and calls us to be his prophets, our response must be immediate and total!
And again, our mission as prophets will not fail, but will succeed; because it is not from us, but it is from the grace of God!
- The second reading tells us that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical fact and that our faith and salvation depend on it! But the long form of the second reading also tells us of the call of Saint Paul.
Again, Saint Paul was a sinner. In fact he was a persecutor of Christians, but again, because of God’s grace he became an apostle and he became the most hardworking of all the apostles! Thus we read in the second reading:
“I am the least of the apostles; in fact, since I persecuted the Church of God, I hardly deserve the name apostle; but by God’s grace that is what I am, and the grace that he gave me has not been fruitless. On the contrary, I, or rather the grace of God that is with me, have worked harder than any of the others.” (1 Co 15: 9-10; SM)
Again, the mission of Saint Paul will not fail, even if he will have to die, but will succeed; because it is not from him, but it is from the grace of God!
- Again, in front of the grace of God that forgives our sins and calls us to be apostles and prophets, we give thanks to God! The responsorial psalm today is a psalm of thanksgiving! Thus the response:
“Before the angels I will bless you, O Lord.” (Ps 137 (138): 1; SM)
That is, ‘before the angels, I will praise and thank you, O Lord’.
The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first and second stanzas (vv. 1-3) are a “thanksgiving for deliverance”. The third stanza (vv. 4-5) is a “prayer that all nations acknowledge Yahweh”. And the fourth stanza (vv. 7-8) is a “statement of confidence”. (NJBC)
- Today in this Mass, we give thanks to God for two of the greatest apostles, Peter and Paul. Peter was the first Pope and Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles (non-Jews), that is, an apostle to the whole world!
Today we also thank God for all his graces that forgive us our sins and call us to be his apostles. And we ask God to help us to respond to his call immediately and totally. And we are confident that our mission will not fail, but will succeed; because it is not from us, but it is from the grace of God! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.