February 10, 2013 – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Each of the readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time makes reference to people being “called.” Of course, each of us is called by God to be a disciple. The challenge for us is to hear that call, understand it, and then to respond to it with action.
The first reading from Isaiah reminds us of a hymn based upon that reading most Catholics have sung and heard for the past few decades — “Here I am Lord.” The hymn portrays Isaiah’s response to God calling him. The lyrics in the refrain, known to many, are “Here I am Lord. It is I lord. I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, where you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.”
The Gospel from Luke is a story known popularly — of how Jesus told Peter and James and John to go out in Peter’s boat and fish again, even though they had caught nothing previously. The catch was enormous and it was a changing point in the vocations of those men. They were fishermen, and had probably been fishermen since they were boys. Fishing was their vocation, but Jesus called them to something higher — to be “fishers of men,” and they responded by changing vocations from fishermen to apostles — messengers.
Some of us, like Isaiah, are called to vocations of discipleship which function parallel to our life’s vocation, our jobs. Others, like Peter, are called to lifetime vocations — holy orders. The point is not which vocation we follow — it is that as good stewards we recognize we have a vocation — a role — in building the Kingdom of God. Are we prepared and are we responding in the way we should? “Here I am Lord… I will go, Lord, where you lead me.”