The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home
February 6th, 2022 – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Luke 2:1-11
Download this simple process to Prepare for Sunday using the Observe, Judge, Act Method.
I recently heard a politician expound on a new insight of his. Roughly, he announced that everything is related to everything else. Not to dismiss the importance of his idea, but scientists have been saying this for years, especially after Albert Einstein formulated his theory of relativity. And even further back, St. Paul wrote that we are all relational beings. He taught that we all are connected in Christ’s body, the Church. That body, to expand on this view, has many parts, each with a purpose in God’s plan.
Which brings us to that delightful gospel of today when Jesus asked for a ride in Peter’s fishing boat. And later he advised Peter and his associates to take the boat to a different part of the lake where they would take in a great catch. Imagine Peter muttering to his buddies. What does this carpenter know about fishing? We’ll give it a try but when we catch nothing, we must tell others whose stupid idea this was. Not mine!
We know the rest of it. A big catch, so immense that Peter’s boat was in danger of sinking, so heavy was its load. Later, I wonder if Peter mentioned the tip he received from Jesus later that night at the local fishermen’s café.
Another point in the gospel was that Jesus invited Peter and others to become fishers of men. In other words, they were being called away from their old ways and enter the way of Jesus. We might wonder why Jesus needed their help anyway. After all, he was Jesus the Christ, Son of the living God. Couldn’t he just do it by himself? What’s going on?
Maybe he should speak just louder. But that’s not the point, Jesus was not a soloist. Rather, the work of Jesus was one of involving others in its enactment. Like a whole orchestra of musicians. That would include you and me. The building of God’s reign or kingdom was and remains a communal act because everyone one is related to everyone else.
To return to that initial image, Jesus wants to ride in our boats, too. And he wants to go fishing with us. The lake (with its diverse population of inhabitants) is today’s world with all its people. And each of us is directed to a certain place in the lake to “fish.” Like in our homes and families, with our friends and neighbors, in our workplaces with co-workers, and all those in our address books and on our contact list. And finally, those we meet each day, whether known or unknown. Like yesterday, my wife handed me money for a beggar with his dog at the side of the road near Costco’s where we had just shopped. That lake, too.
©David M. Thomas, PhD