Message for the Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany – February 6, 2022

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The gospel reading for today narrates the story of our Lord calling his first disciples.  The story speaks to this call in the context of a miraculous catch of fish, to the point where the disciples have to seek help, to deal with the volume of fish.  The story concludes with Peter’s confession of his unworthiness and the response of Jesus.  Peter is embraced and entrusted with the responsibility to proclaim the saving word and work of God, as a lifelong vocation.  I invite us to reflect on the narrative within the context of us being embraced and entrusted with the mission to proclaim God’s word of salvation.  This mission is to us as individuals and in community.  In real terms what is God calling us to proclaim as individual Christians and as a community against this background?  I invite us to accept that God is calling us, within the context of our own chosen vocations, careers and professions.  We are called to proclaim the kingdom of God in the Kingdoms of the world.

It is in the kingdoms of the world that the love of God revealed in our Lord Christ is to be shared and received.  The peace and order which characterizes the Kingdom of God must be brought to bear on the peoples and nations of the world.  It is in the kingdom of the world,  that you and I are called to become the means through which the love of God is revealed and received.  We are the ones who must love our neighbours.

The love of God is not an idea or a thought, it is practical and experiential.  It is demonstrated in the way we relate, the love and respect we encounter in the daily journey of our lives.  God’s love, I submit, is far more than our emotions or what we think about others.  God’s love is experienced as we set out in our intentional way to work towards the well being and welfare of others, irrespective of who we are and what they are.

This love challenges us to speak truths to the powers that place profit over people, that deny so many people the experience of basic human dignity and integrity.  My brothers and sisters, as we expand out our vocation and widen our understanding of our calling, we will discover like the fishermen in our reading that there is a miraculous catch of fish awaiting us.

Love and Blessing profound

Fr. Eddie