Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Pet4,7-11; Resp. Psalm: Ps96,1-3,7-10; Gosp. Accl.: Mk1,17; Gospel: Lk5,1-11
The Lord does extraordinary deeds through those who revere and obey Him. The Lord raises the weak and uses them to accomplish His works, to the shame of the proud. When one comes to God with the right dispositions, God comes to Him with the right blessings and uses the person beyond the person's wildest imaginations.
This is especially so whenever anyone offers his/her life for the service of God and the gospel of His Son. When God sees the willingness as expressed in the hand of fellowship and collaboration, God transforms the emptiness of the human person to accomplish great tasks and deeds for Him.
It happened to the fishermen disciples at the lake of Gennesaret. It happened to St. Patrick in Ireland. Simon and his companions had toiled all night without a catch. Our Lord saw the disappointment on their faces as a result of their failure. He decided to use that failure to make something of the lives of these Galileans. Our Lord required just one thing: obedience to His command.
He gave the command to Simon to put out into the deep for a catch. Simon only needed to obey. Though not totally convinced because of his failure during the night, Simon put out the net at the word of our Lord. The extraordinary miracle of a great catch some overwhelmed Simon that he recognized immediately the holiness of this prophet, Jesus, vis-a-vis his own unworthiness. In spite of this, our Lord by calling him to be a Fisher of men demonstrated that He is the One who qualifies the unqualified and uses human weakness to bring out His unsurpassing glory.
That experience totally changed the course of Simon's life. Immediately after this encounter, Simon and his companions left everything and followed our Lord. The love that filled their hearts must have been great. To be a good disciple of our Lord, the word in today's first reading gives us some conditions.
Our love must be unfailing for one another. We must show hospitality to one another. We must use our gifts for the good of our brothers and sisters, knowing fully well that we are mere stewards of the grace of God. The word challenges us to do everything that God might be glorified in all that we do.
It admonishes us to use our lives to tell the wonders of the Lord to all the peoples, proclaim God's salvation day by day and worship Him as He only rightly deserves.
We have a great example in the life of St. Patrick. He left everything, left his native land of England to preach the gospel to the people of Ireland. His preaching was so successful that he converted an entire nation to Christ. The fruits of the work of St. Patrick is seen in the countless missionaries that the nation of Ireland sent out to other nations for the evangelization of those nations and their peoples.
St. Patrick challenges us to wake up from our lethargy. The harvest is still very rich. What are we doing to bring about the salvation of souls? What role are we playing? How much response are we giving in our lives to the call to conversion? How supportive are we of the work of evangelization? May the Lord fill us with the same zeal for the gospel that He gave to St. Patrick.
Let us pray: "O God, who chose the Bishop Saint Patrick to preach your glory to the peoples of Ireland, grant, through his merits and intercession, that those who glory in the name of Christian may never cease to proclaim your wondrous deeds to all." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.