5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Let us look at their encounters with God and how they felt to be called by God for a mission. In the first reading, Isaiah (6:1-8) recalls his experience. While in the temple he sees a vision where God is seated on a throne as the king of the universe and seraphim attends to Him. They praise and worship God. The three-fold “Holy” is a way of saying that God is supremely Holy. We use the same as we worship God in the Holy Mass. God’s holiness transcends all that is sinful or limited. In the presence of God Isaiah trembles and feels dizzy. He becomes very conscious of his unworthiness. His response was, “I am a sinner and an unclean person unworthy to be in the presence of God, who is Holy and Almighty.” God sends a Seraph to clean Isaiah’s lips, a symbol of deep spiritual cleansing. The Isaiah hears God asking who will communicate the divine decisions to the world? “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah responds immediately, “Here I am Lord, I shall go.” Isaiah’s fear and shame disappeared, and became ready to be a servant of God.
St. Paul (1Cor. 15:1-11) too had a dramatic experience of God. That experience changed him completely from a persecutor to an apostle. He acknowledges his unworthiness to be called an apostle. He says, “I am the least of the apostles, because I persecuted The Church of God.” Like Isaiah, Paul is aware of his sinfulness, and is sorrowful about his role in persecuting Christians before his encounter with the risen Christ.
The gospel (LK. 5:1-11) presents the miraculous catch of fish, in which Peter and his companions encounter the power of God in Jesus. It was an awesome experience. Peter saw his unworthiness, sinfulness and wanted to pull away from the Lord. He said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Jesus empowered him and he became a faithful disciple and great apostle for ever. Do you feel called by God? Have you encountered Christ in your life?