Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time February 10, 2019
IS 6:1-2A, 3-8
PS 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 COR 15:1-11
Question for reflection: Do you know that God has a plan for your life?
In all three of this Sunday’s readings, God intervenes and transforms the lives of people according to his plan for each of them. God reveals that he is calling them to holiness in general and also to a specific purpose. These accounts are not just legends from long ago. They are an indication to each of us of that God created us with a specific purpose. God has a plan for our lives.
In the passage from Isaiah, the prophet experiences a vision of Almighty God in his heavenly temple. Isaiah is at first terrified, then is transformed--that is made clean--by God. In the encounter, the prophet’s specific purpose is revealed to him.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
"Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?"
"Here I am," I said; "send me!"
In the letter to the Corinthians, Paul recounts his own transformation. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective.” God chose Saul, of all people, who was persecuting Christians.God transformed him from a persecutor into an apostle! That’s the miraculous power of God’s transforming love! From our historical perspective, we can see that God created Paul specifically for the purpose of preaching the Gospel to the world.
The Gospel passage in Luke is a beautiful account of Jesus choosing and transforming Peter, James and John. They had had a lousy night of fishing, working hard and catching nothing. But Peter was willing to listen to Jesus’ instructions and put out into the deep for a catch. After catching an overabundance of fish, Peter protests that he doesn’t deserve to be in Jesus’ presence. Jesus, however, announces their new career path:
"Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."
Notice that in all three instances, God met each of these men where they were. It’s especially striking that Jesus came to simple fishermen. He did not require them to undergo any training or education. God had a plan and a purpose for each of these men and his transformative love is what allowed them to fulfill their purpose.
God has a plan and a purpose for each of us, also. His love is capable of transforming us from frightened, unworthy creatures into beloved, effective disciples. You may already know the purpose for which you were created. Or, you may struggle with the question every day. We may not be called to preach or teach, to write or travel, but we are first of all called to become closer to God so that his love can transform us and so that he reveal his purpose for each of our lives.
By: Kristina Antolin Davies, Director of Adult Faith Formation, Saint Vincent Basilica Parish, Latrobe