Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 6, 2022

Sister Margaret Meaney, OSB reflects on the scripture readings: Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11

I will be quoting Henry David Thoreau, J. Mason, and a homeless man.

When I was a landlocked child, about 8 years old, I visited a bay on the east coast. There was a fisherman on the pier, and I saw that he had a bucket full of little fish, so I complemented him on his catch.

I’m sure Simon would have cast the same look on me as that fisherman, had I said the same to him!

Moving on-

Gennesaret has two meanings- “harp” and “garden of riches.”

I’m sure Simon did not consider the lake that night as a “garden of riches.” He came back to shore empty handed and with the labor of washing the nets ahead of him. The concept of the nobility of labor was far from his mind.

He couldn’t see into his future, moments away, the transition from struggle to hopeful purpose, propelling him onto the road to greatness.

I’m struck by the humility of Simon’s words of self- recognition after the massive catch of fish- “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

 “Humility, like darkness, reveals the heavenly lights.”

Or

As in Psalm 17/18:24 “I shall be blameless in God’s sight if I guard myself from my own wickedness.”

Jesus can see the grace and beauty in the lowly of society. Of course, Jesus chose Simon. Of course, Simon chose Jesus.

The moments of dark denial were still ahead.

In a month’s time we will be entering Lent. Do we have the humility to explore our own dark denials?

Yet

“True humility makes way for Christ and throws the soul at his feet.”

Simon Peter entered greatness, not power.

The pedestrian powerful still walk their walk, still talk their talk. A homeless writer, selling his poetry on the streets of Washington DC, quotes Jesus in his imagination, writing these words of love to Simon Peter and to us-

 “I love you with a pain that goes beyond human birth

 and the cold loneliness of the grave,

I curse death

and challenge any obstacle that stands between you and me.”

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