Foundation of the Church

Sunday, February 6th 2022 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

The readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time remind us of the great privilege we have in calling ourselves both children and disciples of the Most High God.

The First Reading from Isaiah described a vision of the prophet in which angels surrounded the Lord proclaiming, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!” Out of fear, Isaiah said, “Woe is me; I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips, yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” The Lord sent a Seraph angel to remedy Isaiah’s uncleanness and his sin was purged. The Lord then said, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Isaiah said out of a sense of gratitude, “Here I am, send me.” Our God invites us to such deep intimacy and friendship with Him that sometimes we can forget just how majestic and unspeakably holy He truly is. Our attitude ought to be one of gratitude.

In the Gospel passage from Luke, Jesus instructs Simon to lower his nets for a catch of fish despite an unsuccessful night of fishing. Peter was skeptical but obeyed and was amazed at the large catch of fish that he made. He knelt down before Jesus in astonishment. Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” Simon Peter, along with James and John, the sons of Zebedee dropped their nets and followed Jesus as his disciples. They became the foundation on which the Church would be born.

This sense of awe and reverence before God should motivate us to deepen our Christian way of life. As we contemplate the holiness of God, we come to a heightened awareness of what a privilege it is that He has chosen to include you and me in His work of spreading the Gospel to others through the grateful sharing of the gifts He has given us. In this effort of Jesus and the Church, each of us has an active role to play. Aware of this privilege, we will then make the words of Isaiah become our own: “Here I am Lord, send me!”