On the Road Together for February 10
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Tracy Rodenborn, Director of RCIA
Our readings this weekend seem to be about doubts…doubts about God, crises and skepticism about faith. But taking a closer look, these doubts really spring from uncertainties about the human person and one’s worthiness to be in God’s great plan of salvation. We have in our first reading and in the Gospel what are titled stories of calling. As we think about the many calling stories in our Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, almost always the one being called at first expresses great doubts about their worthiness or fitness for the position. Perhaps this is also very close to our own first reaction when God calls.
The prophet Isaiah tells of his calling from God and the intense vision he experiences as he begins his tenure as a prophet. He has a vision of God purifying him because he does not feel worthy of the calling, “Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips…” After he is purified, he is ready to be sent wherever God needs him.
In our second reading, Paul is assuring the Corinthians because of their many doubts about their new belief in Christ. Some of these doubts, as we will see in subsequent weeks, stem from being very uncomfortable with the concept of Resurrection, both of Jesus and of their own bodily resurrection. A belief about the body being too unclean for such glory is expressed. In our reading today, Paul assures them that he is very legitimate in his teachings and in line with Christ himself and all the apostles in the faith that he is passing along.
In our Gospel today, we have the beautiful calling story of Peter and some other apostles. They are fishing and have been out all night, catching nothing. After Jesus teaches, he tells them to put out their nets once again. This was no small ask – they have been out all night, then listening to Jesus that day and had already cleaned their nets. (It must have felt even more imposing than after a long day, all the kids finally tucked away in bed, and a few minutes later one calls for mom and dad that they are going to be sick...). After a little complaint, Peter leads them to follow Jesus’ command. When they catch more fish than the boats can hold, Peter is seized with shame from his lack of trust: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Jesus response to him and the others is often the response from other call stories, “Do not be afraid.”
We are invited this week to think of our own response to God calling us. We are probably hesitant for many reasons, and one of those is our feeling of shame and unworthiness of God’s call. May we trust in the purifying power of God and the words of Jesus to not be afraid. For the one who calls us is faithful and by grace, can make us worthy of such a call!
Readings for February 10:
on Thursday, February 7 at 12:50PM