Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Call to worship

Isaiah sees God’s holiness, realizes his sinfulness and God calls him to be a prophet. After a night of fruitless fishing, Jesus tells Peter to set his nets deeper in the same waters. When Peter catches an abundance of fish, he realizes Jesus’ holiness and his own sinfulness. At that moment, Jesus calls him to be an apostle. When we encounter God’s holiness, like Isaiah and Peter, we instantly feel our sinfulness. It is at this moment of humility when God touches us, lifts us in love, reminds us of our holy dignity and calls us to deeper ministry.

  • To the point: In this Gospel, Peter begins by allowing Jesus to take command of his boat. He moves to allowing Jesus to take command of his heart, openly confessing the truth about himself (“I am a sinful man.”). Finally, he allows Jesus to take command of his whole life (“left everything and followed him”). Like Peter, we are to allow Jesus to take command of us—our possessions, our hearts, our lives.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 5:1-11) to the first reading: Isaiah and Peter declare themselves to be sinful people. But God’s call comes to sinful people and in diverse places, (temple, boats). The call depends not on the individual or the place, but on the graciousness of God.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: Too often we feel the burden of discipleship rests solely on our own shoulders. The gospel depicts Jesus initiating the call — he comes to Peter’s boat and invites him to follow. Our discipleship rests upon Jesus long before we begin to follow.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 5: 1-11)

For astonishment seized him at the catch of fish they had made.

Broken nets, holdovers loaded with fish.
Do not be afraid. Now it is my sea of humanity.
From here on you will catch men and women.
Lord, give us your worthiness instead of our unworthiness;
make us deeper than our doubts. Let us fall on our knees
as did Simon Peter. Help us in the catching
and surely in the being caught.

The First Reading

(Isaiah 6: 1-2a, 3-8)

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!”
“Here I am; send me!”
Oh God, send me your leap-of-faith grace.
Help me to leave the shore, and to relish the water
and go directly where you wish me to be. 
Let nothing hold me back. 

The Second Reading

(I Corinthians 15: 1-11)

Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me.
For I am the least of all the apostles.

Lord, just as you did with Paul, give us your grace.
Please overcome the chasm
that lies between who we are
and whomever you might call us to be.

Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection