Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

 Col 1:9-14; Ps 98:2-6; Lk 5:1-11

The Lord God Almighty, who has revealed his justice to the nations, is the same Lord who has remembered his kindness and faithfulness toward the house of Israel.  The children of our Father in Faith, Jacob renamed Israel, have seen the salvation by our God in their rescue from slavery in Egypt and their journey of purification through the desert to the Promised Land.  The revelation of the Lord and Liberator of Israel to the nations is not just collateral event, an accidental outcome of his saving action.  The Lord has intended from the beginning to show his kindness and faithfulness to all the nations.  All the ends of the earth are invited to see the salvation God has in store for them by observing the history of his people, Israel.  The King, the Lord, is a gracious and kind to all who turn to him in their needs.  It is with joy that Saint Paul gives thanks to the Father, who has made the Colossians fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. .  The Lord Jesus has the same plan as His Father.   This is clear in today’s Gospel, “Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching men’.”
 With trumpets, and horns, we join the praise of all God’s People for his saving power reaches out to all the nations.


Saint Paul prays constantly for his converts in Colossae and everywhere throughout the early church.  This commitment is necessary for both the preacher and the congregation.  Conversion is a lifetime process of growth in wisdom, understanding and action.  If we are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord who calls us, if we are to be pleasing in every good work, if we are to bear good fruit, we must rely on the prayer and support of many brothers and sisters.  We cannot endure with patience the trials of the Christian life without the comfort and challenge of the other members of the Body of Christ those here on earth and the Saints in glory.  We have been delivered from the power of darkness and transferred to the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  However, this initial conversion must continue each day.  We cannot remain neutral in our spiritual, moral, and intellectual lives.  To remain neutral makes us a target for the evil one, and we will slip slide away from the way of holiness, love, and truth.  Both preacher and convert are mutually interdependent upon the power of intercession for each other.  This Mass is a vital part of our resolution to never cease praying.    

The Divine Teacher is pressed in on every side as those who listen to the word of God try to touch and be touched by the One who can heal both soul and body.  The Lord Jesus takes advantage of Simon and his boat so that he could have a platform from which to address the great crowds.  That was a creative short-term solution to the problem of the crowds and the crowding around the Healer and Teacher from God.  After he had addressed those on the shore, the Lord Jesus came up with a more long-term solution to the urgency of spreading the good news.  He found in Saint Peter and his companions the kind of humility necessary to be preachers and teachers after him.  They were genuinely awestruck with his power to catch fish that was quite beyond anything they had been able to accomplish after a whole night of fishing.  It is this kind of humility that brought Simon Peter to his knees saying, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
  It is this kind of humility that brought the Lord Jesus to assure Simon and his companions that they need not fear.  Rather, they need to have confidence that he wants to use their humble hearts to carry the treasure of the Kingdom to the very ends of the earth.  Only when we are awestruck with his power to save us revealed in the Eucharist, only when we can see in faith that He is near, in our boat, will we be able to hear him say to us, “lower your nets”.