Sunday Church at Home – 6th February, 5th Sunday OT

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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C  

6th February, 2022 

 

Sunday Church at Home 

during lockdown in the Coronavirus Pandemic 

 

Called by Christ to Save All Humanity.
 

 

The lay leader makes the sign of the cross, saying: 

 

Leader: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

 

All reply: Amen 

 

Leader: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

All reply: Blessed be God for ever 

 

Leader: Everyone who believes God’s word is called to pass on the Good News. Like many who have gone before us, including the prophet Isaiah and the apostles Paul, and Peter, we may not feel up to the task. But God helps us every day.  

 

LITURGY OF THE WORD 

 

First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-2a.3-8 

 

Introduction to the reading:  

The prophet Isaiah lived about 750 years before Christ.  His enthusiastic response to God’s call let to a prophetic career that lasted over 40 years.  In this brief passage, we find not only the source for the “Holy, Holy” in the Mass, but also the prayer before reading the Gospel (asking God to cleanse one’s lips), and finally the refrain from a frequently used contemporary hymn. 

 

A reading from the Book of Isaiah. 

In the year that King Uzziah died,
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up;
and his train filled the temple.
Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings. 
And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”  

And the foundations of the thresholds
shook at the voice of him who called,
and the house was filled with smoke.
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost;
for I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”  

Then flew one of the seraphim to me,
having in his hand a burning coal
which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
And he touched my mouth, and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips;
your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.”
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” 

The word of the Lord. 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 138:1ac-2a.2bcd-3.4-5.7c-8 (R. 1b) 

Let us now pray the Responsorial Psalm: 

R/. In the presence of the angels I praise you. 

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
You have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels, I praise you.
I bow down towards your holy temple. 

I give thanks to your name
for your merciful love and your faithfulness.
You have exalted your name and your promise over all.
On the day I called, you answered me;
you increased the strength of my soul. 

All earth’s kings shall thank you, O Lord,
when they hear the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
“How great is the glory of the Lord!” 

With your right hand you save me;
the Lord will accomplish this for me.
O Lord, your merciful love is eternal;
discard not the work of your hands. 

R/. In the presence of the angels I praise you.
 

Second reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 

Introduction to the reading: We continue our reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  Some members of the community had questioned the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and our own resurrection as well.  This passage is Paul’s response.  It pre-dates the Gospels and is the oldest written record of the Church’s core tradition about Christ’s resurrection. 

 

A reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. 

I would remind you, brothers and sisters,
in what terms I preached to you the gospel,
which you received, in which you stand,
by which you are saved if you hold it fast—
unless you believed in vain.  

For I delivered to you as of first importance
what I also received,
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the scriptures,
and that he appeared to Cephas,
then to the twelve.
Then he appeared to more than five hundred people
at one time,
most of whom are still alive,
though some have fallen asleep.
Then he appeared to James,
then to all the apostles.
Last of all, as to one untimely born,
he appeared also to me.
For I am the least of the apostles,
unfit to be called an apostle
because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God, I am what I am,
and his grace towards me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them,
though it was not I,
but the grace of God which is with me.
Whether then it was I or they,
so we preach and so you believed. 

The word of the Lord. 

 

Alleluia, alleluia.
Follow me, says the Lord, and I will make you fishers of men.
Alleluia! 

 

Gospel: Luke 5:1-11 

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke. 

At that time:
While the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God,
he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.
And he saw two boats by the lake,
but the fishermen had gone out of them
and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s,
he asked him to put out a little from the land.
And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  

And Simon answered,
“Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!
But at your word, I will let down the nets.”
And when they had done this,
they enclosed a great shoal of fish;
and as their nets were breaking,
they beckoned to their partners in the other boat
to come and help them.
And they came and filled both the boats
so that they began to sink.
But when Simon Peter saw it,
he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying,
“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
For he was astonished,
and all that were with him,
at the catch of fish which they had taken;
and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee,
who were partners with Simon.  

And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
henceforth you will be catching people.”  

And when they had brought their boats to land,
they left everything and followed him.

The Gospel of the Lord. 

 

 

Reflection on the Readings  

The leader reads the text prepared by the priest and leads the sharing. 

Imagine if Jesus had sent his twelve disciples for psychological testing before he called them to follow him. The reply he would have received would have been something like this: Thank you for submitting the résumés of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. It is the opinion of our staff that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the enterprise. They have no team concept.  

  • Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper.  
  • Andrew has no qualities for leadership.  
  • The two brothers James and John place personal interest above company loyalty. 
  • Thomas shows a sceptical attitude that would tend to undermine morale.  
  • Matthew has been blacklisted by the Jerusalem Better Business Bureau.  
  • James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus, definitely have radical leanings.  
  • One of the candidates however, shows real potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. 😊 

That assessment of the Twelve Apostles gives hope to us because if they could go on to accomplish great things for the Lord then so also can we. 

A fisherman had a tough life. Peter has “worked hard all night.” Many of us can identify with an “all-night-labour”; something we have worked hard at all day and that still keeps us up at night. With the Covid limitations many are doing “all-night-labours” from their own homes. We can hear in Peter’s voice, our own feelings of fatigue, frustration and failure. There are times in our lives when we can say what Peter expresses in today’s gospel, “we have caught nothing….” 

At times, we have:  

  • struggled to keep a relationship together, only to have it crumble;  
  • tried to support our families during these times of  high unemployment;  
  • taught our children the faith, only to have them give it up when they left the house;  
  • come towards the end of our hard-working lives to find ourselves limited by physical or financial constraints, etc.  
  • Just like Peter and his partners, we have a lot on our minds and have much to preoccupy us.  

Peter hasn’t had the time or leisure to listen to Jesus preach on some hillside or local synagogue. He has important things to tend to on this day; he’s got a family to feed and a business to maintain. So, since Peter couldn’t go to Jesus, Jesus goes to him. He chooses Peter’s boat as his “pulpit.” From there Jesus preaches to the crowds who were pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God.  

Jesus must have been saying something they found important and applicable to their lives. Peter couldn’t help hearing what Jesus was saying, after all, they were in the same boat. Jesus’ words were so moving that Peter was willing to act against his experience, honed by years of fishing, and to trust Jesus’ word. When Jesus tells Peter, “Put out into the deep and lower your nets for a catch…,” Peter does it.  

At this point of the story, we have a working person whose life is challenging. Into that life and world, Jesus enters with a word that draws people to himself. Peter hears that word and responds to it and discovers that his life bears fruit – the kind a fisherman would recognize – the fruit of a huge catch of fish.  

This story is not a fantasy or other-worldly. It’s about Jesus speaking to a person in the midst of a busy day and that person responding to him. Peter goes from being in a comfort zone to discovering purpose and fruitfulness. Peter is able to realize what has happened and decides to follow the one who can catch fish for him and more – whose word bears life. 

But Peter has initial hesitation. He feels unworthy in the presence of the one he has just heard speak; the one who taught him, the experienced fisherman, how to catch fish. Jesus now has other fish to capture; beginning with Peter and his companions. He uses the same net to catch these men he used to catch the fish – his word. They may be unworthy, but if they trust, not in themselves but Jesus’ word, they will be “catching people.” So, relying not on themselves but upon the Word, they put their hesitations aside and follow Jesus. 

Peter’s busy life turned out to be a “listening place” for him. It was while he was cleaning up after his laborious and unrewarding night’s work that he heard Jesus speak. First, he listens to Jesus as one among the many who were there that day.  

It’s the way we hear the Word of God in our parish, at the celebration of Mass. Listening within his community sets the stage for what Peter heard next – his personal call. These weekly celebrations of the Eucharist we share with others is an important listening place for us as a church community.  

Together we hear Christ address us and, through his fruitful word, enable us to be his “fishing church,” reaching out, as he did, to the lost and confused, to offer them direction and a place of acceptance.  

Our ministry now is to respond to those who say what Peter first said to Jesus, “We have worked hard all night and have caught nothing.”  

Our daily life as well can be our personal listening place to the Word. When we practice attentiveness to what we experience and hear each day, we can discover the Word. For example, do we have a wise friend who speaks the truth we need to hear? Do we take the Scriptures we hear each Sunday and try to apply them to our lives? Can we begin each day with a resolution to try to find Christ and listen to him while we work? 

Isaiah had an experience of God that frightened him and filled him with awe. He hears the words:  

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
And … the foundations shook…,
and the house was filled with smoke.  

And Isaiah said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am man of unclean lips.”  

But for God that’s not an obstacle.  Isaiah’s mission won’t depend on his own worthiness, but on the word of the One who is calling and sending. Then voice of the Lord says, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? 

Isaiah is able to respond,  “Here I am, Send me.”  

Isaiah experiences his own unworthiness and God’s compassion. Peter, kneeling before Jesus, experienced his own unworthiness but then is able to trust Jesus and follow his call. That might be our prayer throughout this week. Whether we feel worthy or not, from the midst of our daily lives we pray and trust our call and say, “Here I am, send me.” 

From today’s Gospel reading: 

Peter said to Jesus, “Master we have
worked hard all night
and have caught nothing, but at
your command I will lower the nets.” 

Reflection: 

Like Peter we have things that concern us and keep our minds preoccupied during the night We can use some help to keep us focused and to guide our decisions. In the midst of all that occupies us we want to continue hearing Jesus’ invitation to follow him. We especially want to do that as we toil through the sometimes, very dark periods of our lives. 

So we ask ourselves:  

  • What areas of my life consume my energies and concern me the most? 
  • Have I considered how Jesus is inviting me to follow him in those very places?  

 

Prayer of the Faithful  

 

Leader:  

Let us bring our petitions before God, who wishes to bless us more generously than we could ever ask or imagine. 

 

Reader: 

We pray for our Pope, bishops, priests, catechists and all who preach the Gospel of Christ:  (pause) 

that they may be messengers of hope to a despairing world. 

LORD HEAR US 

 

We pray for government officials and people in positions of influence: (pause) 

that there may be a more generous sharing of the world’s abundant resources. 

LORD HEAR US 

 

We pray for all employed in dangerous occupations or who work unsocial hours for the good of others: (pause) 

that they may be kept safe and their labours blessed. 

LORD HEAR US 

 

We pray for anyone who feels beyond redemption or undeserving of happiness: (pause) 

that we may reach out to them with God’s saving love.  

LORD HEAR US 

 

For ourselves:  (pause) 

that we might be “fishers of people”, leading lives that attract others to the Lord Jesus.  

LORD HEAR US 

 

We pray for all involved in organising the next Alpha Course:  (pause) 

that more people will be inspired to assist in leading this ministry, and that those who wish to grow in their faith will be led by the Holy Spirit to attend as guests 

LORD HEAR US 

 

We pray for members of our families and friends who have died and those whose anniversaries occur about this time.  

LORD HEAR US 

 

We pray for Mashudu Eddie Munyai who died this week. 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. 

 

And let perpetual light shine upon him.   

May he rest in peace. AMEN 

 

Leader: Let us pray for vocations: 

 

Gracious God,
You have called me to life
and gifted me in many ways.
Through Baptism You have sent me
to continue the mission of Jesus
by sharing my love with others.
Strengthen me to respond to
Your call each day.
Help me to become all You desire of me.
Inspire me to make a difference in
others’ lives.
Lead me to choose the way of life
You have planned for me.
Open the hearts of all to listen
to Your call.
Fill all with Your Holy Spirit that
we may have listening hearts and
the courage to respond to You.
Enkindle in my heart
and the hearts of others the desire
to make the world a better place
by serving as Lay Minister, Sister, Priest,  Brother or Deacon.  

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

 

 

Spiritual Communion 

We can unite ourselves to the Eucharist through making a spiritual Communion. 

By making an Act of Spiritual Communion, we express our faith in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist and ask him to unite himself with us.  

 

My Jesus, I believe you are really here in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you more than anything in the world, and I hunger to receive you.
But since I cannot receive Communion at this moment, feed my soul at least spiritually. I unite myself to you now as I do when I actually receive you. Amen. 

 

 

CONCLUDING RITE 

 

Leader: Let us pray to the Father in the words Jesus our Saviour gave us:  

 

All say: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.
 

Leader:  

Most holy God, 

the earth is filled with your glory, 

and in your presence angels stand in awe. 

Enlarge our vision, 

that we may recognise your power at work in your Son 

and join the apostles and prophets 

as heralds of your saving word. 

 

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 

one God for ever and ever. 

Amen. 

 

Blessing 

 

The leader says: 

 

May God bless us with every heavenly blessing, 

and make us always holy and pure in his sight. 

Amen. 

 

May God pour out in abundance upon us the riches of his glory, 

and teach us with the words of truth. 

Amen. 

 

May God instruct us in the Gospel of salvation, 

and ever endow us with fraternal charity. 

Amen. 

 

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. 

 

All: Amen. 

 

🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈 

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