Thursday, February 4, 2010

"From now on you will be catching men."

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary time (5C), February 7, 2010

BURNING QUESTION: Why don't we evangelize door to door?
FEATURED BLOG: Who Does God Use?
PRIESTS STORY: Good Priests Have to Hit the Books, Says Pope
PASTORAL HISPANA: Purifica Mis Labios

Dear Friends,

Sunday's Readings contain a surprise development. We will find three of the greatest witnesses in the Bible - Isaiah, Paul and Peter — each expressing their own worthlessness. Our Discussion Questions will guide your Bible Study sessions with your friends, family or church groups.

Pressed by a growing crowd, Jesus got into the boat of a fisherman named Simon and preached to them a short distance from the shore. He then told Simon to go out into deep water and lower his nets for a catch. Simon had aught nothing all night but did as Jesus asked. They caught so many fish that their nets were about to break.

When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, I am a sinful man." Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be fraid; from now on you will be catching men."

Worked all night and caught nothing

However, the hinge point in the story comes when Jesus tells Peter to “Launch out into the deep.” Father Cusick explains that, like Peter, we also sometimes respond with weariness when our Lord reminds us to keep all the things that He has commanded. Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS says this story points out the spectacular contrast between emptiness and fullness.

There is some sense in that we have to be empty if we are to receive. So, Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB asks us to to identify with the disciples at sea. Is it possible to be a committed disciple of Jesus, yet still experience weakness and failure?

Am I Worthy?

Fr. Alex McAllister can recall how many times he as heard people say that they don’t feel worthy of this or that ministry or service in the Church. In response to this, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Ph.D. suggests that we look at the cases of Peter, Paul and Isaiah in this Sunday's readings. None of them would have been voted most likely to succeed. And Fr. Jim Kirstein, SMA chimes in to remind us all that God is not looking for perfection but rather the willingness to try to do better.

The message can't be clearer. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino says all of us have a role to play in the transformation of the world into the Kingdom of God. We are called to to touch people. And some of these very people might be sitting in the pew next to us suffering silently due to situations beyond their control.

But we struggle to trust, which Fr. Ron Rolheiser says is perhaps the most important thing we ever need to learn. We must move towards trust, from the house of fear to the house of love. And the good news, according to Fr. Campion P. Gavaler, OSB, is that Jesus has not departed and has promised never to depart from the Church.

"Lord, I am a sinful man."

So this Sunday - like Isaiah, like Peter - Fr. Phil Bloom says why don't we acknowledge our sins? Fr. James Gilhooley asks why not examine our conscience against this benchmark: In the home Christianity is kindness. In business it's honesty. In society it's courtesy. In work it's fairness. To the unfortunate it's sympathy. To the weak it's help. To the evil it's resistance.

This enables us to hear Jesus' voice - to receive his forgiveness, his healing - and through the
Eucharist, to allow him to touch and heal us. So that at each Mass, we can echo the Roman
centurion when he says, “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. Only say the word and I shall be healed.”

And when we react with shame like this during Mass, Fr. John Foley, S. J. says God does not say in return, “I reject you,” but “I love you dearly. Come be with me.”

Who Does God Use?

Shane Kapler says all of us can become powerhouses. We must live who we are, share what we are excited about with our co-workers and friends. But it all comes back to spending time with Jesus — gazing upon Him in the Eucharist, in Scripture, in His Church.

In Webster Bull's "Why I am Catholic" blog, Frank points out an unlikely evangelist who was responsible for his conversion - a US Marine colonel in charge of Justice and Peace. Phoenix archbishop Thomas J. Olmsted uses St. John Neumann as a great example of a wise teacher and holy priest who continually fostered in those he served a hunger and thirst for the word of God.

God on the the Internet

It is possible to meet God even in the tangled maze of cyberspace. Father John Flynn, LC points out that in Benedict XVI's recent message for World Communications Day, he urges priests and all Christians to communicate through the digital media. The goal, even of the Web, is encountering God. And we are reminded that priestly bloggers should be welcomed for what they are: a great gift to the Church.

The Church continues to reach out to the youth on the heels of a study which reports that new media use by Teens has shot up at an even astronomical pace than previously thought.

Marriage, Abstinence & a Moral compass

Grand Knight Carl Anderson writes this week that Americans are looking for real political and economic change. And he offers to the markets' business leaders the Papal Encyclical as a roadmap with a moral compass.

From Phoenix, the diocese has adopted a new policy to help reverse the ‘Marital Breakdown.’ Couples seeking a church wedding are now to undergo a full course in Natural Family Planning and more comprehensive courses on the theology of marriage, sanctity of life, divorce and same-sex “marriage.”

From the Vatican, Benedict XVI this week pointed to the testimony of martyrs and invited youth to open their hearts to the "heroism of sanctity." This is consistent with a recent US study that shows the effectiveness of teen abstinence. The Family Research Council explained that the study "tells us clearly that abstinence education, not the promotion of high-risk sexual behavior among teens, is needed."

Celebrating the Eucharist

The Mass is the incarnation of God's remembering us even when we forget God. This latest installment in our ParishWorld Series on Understanding the Mass is titled: "Eucharist: The Incarnation of the Memory of God."

We also encourage you to watch this very educational video: "The Holy Mass .... Revealed," Understanding each section of the Mass. And read this article on understanding how the Fathers of Vatican II intended for us to celebrate the Mass.

Stories of Hope

In the drug war in Juarez, Mexico, even the untouchable aura of clerics in the world's second-biggest Catholic country is being challenged. We bring you this story of a Catholic priest on the front lines of the conflict.

And from Flushing, New York, meet an amazing sixth grader who turned her distraught feelings about the human suffering in Haiti into concrete help for the earthquake victims there. This is an unusually generous, self-sacrificing gift for a girl her age, but if you watch the video here, you’ll see that this young Catholic is no ordinary girl.

Super Bowl Frenzy

It's happenning this Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday is upon us and the world stops for an afternoon of girdiron fun and food. But we bet you didn't know that the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints each include a Catholic priest on their chaplaincy rosters to help them prepare for the big game. And don't forget to watch out for the historic Pro-Life Super Bowl ad featuring the Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.

Finally, for the 10% of Americans who are still struggling to find a job in this economy, here's something interesting: 20 jobs -- no degree, but big salaries. If higher education isn't for you, this article offers 20 career paths straight out of high school.

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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1 comment:

  1. nice material...
    great job!
    may God be praised...