Open Wednesday Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, C February 3
Do you know by heart the "Holy, holy, holy" prayer which we pray as we begin the holiest part of Mass? It is a good prayer to memorize and to pray as a praise-prayer anytime. (To "know by heart" invites one to move a prayer from the lips to the heart.)
In the First Reading, you will hear a type of angel called a seraphim surrounding the throne of God and singing "Holy, holy, holy." Now you know that the Book of the prophet Isaiah is the origin of this prayer.
Last week we heard God's call to the prophet Jeremiah. Next Sunday we will hear God call Isaiah, and Jesus call Simon Peter, James and John. We will use these stories to sharpen both our hearing of God's call to us and our response to that call.
In the First Reading, Isaiah relates his dream of seraphim praising God and then one seraphim purifying Isaiah's lips with a burning coal that the prophet might proclaim God's word. This week let Isaiah's response be your own response. This week pray, "Here I am; send me."
The image of purifying lips with a burning coal prompts us to examine our own speech. Is what we say pleasing to God? Do we speak kindly of others?
Lake Gennesaret is more commonly known as the Sea of Galilee. In your Bible storybook or in your Bible read the story of Jesus calling Simon Peter, James and John to follow Him. Jesus had been teaching on the shore and had used their boat as a platform from which to speak. Doing so gave Jesus some space from the crowds and His voice could be heard better coming over the water. (Have you ever noticed how sound is amplified over water?) When Jesus returned from the boat, He told the three fishermen to "put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." And catch fish they did! Thus Jesus "caught" Simon Peter, James and John who left everything to follow Jesus. What will you give up or leave behind this week in order to follow Jesus better?
I emphasized Jesus asking the fishermen to put out into deep water. Sometimes we have to leave the security of shallow waters and take the risk of deeper waters to realize our potentials and to achieve our goals. Risk taking-done well-is a skill learned over a lifetime. When contemplating a change, use the discernment skills of wise and trusted adults to guide you. Let your parents and other godly adults help you discern God's call. Let their wisdom confirm and guide your initiative.
You recall that Jesus changed Simon's name to "Peter," meaning "rock." In the Second Reading you will hear Paul refer to Simon Peter by his Aramaic name, "Cephas." Paul recounts the basic teaching of our faith: "Jesus died and was buried; Jesus rose from the dead!" This Truth is the basis of the Memorial Acclamation we pray after the Consecration.
On the picture side, find the Gospel Acclamation which is from Matthew's Gospel. The phrase "fishers of men" complements the story of the call of the first Apostles although it is not a phrase Luke uses.
Sunday's Readings: Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Note: In the First Reading, a plural pronoun is used for God: "...Who will go for us?" A plural name for God is not unusual in the Old Testament (e.g. Elohim, El being the singular). A commentary suggests that the plural form may prefigure the doctrine of the Trinity.