In contrast to last week’s rejection of the astounding ‘Word’ because of the family of origin, today we find an acceptance of the same Word, though with much reluctance, and consequently the astonishing and stupefying results, the miraculous catch!

Simon and his company, who knew the sea much better than a carpenter’s son, toiled the whole night with absolutely no catch. They couldn’t see the trace of a fish. They had the fatigue of the whole night; they were tired; they needed sleep and it was at that time this carpenter comes and jumps into their boat and goes on his long sermon on the sea!

They didn’t like his coming in at this hour of the day; they wanted him to stop his ‘moralizing’. At least when he finished they wanted to go home; and then comes his prompting for a catch! They didn’t and they couldn’t like it. However, they complied with his wish. We know the result, they left their trade, their father and family and went after him, the carpenter, to be fishers of men!  May be too big and too ambitious a call for us?

The reality is, any call in the Galilean Carpenter’s way and mission is tall and ambitious and people with real ambition only take it up and the cost of his discipleship is very high too.  Are there any takers?

This week we are entering into a long, fifty days’ search for an answer. Our initiation is with ashes and sack clothes! From the ordinary times we move into penitential times and desert experience! It is not yet time to forget or discard last week’s prophecy from Jeremiah. It has to be read along with today’s prophecy from  Isaiah and we need to find an answer to the question, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?  An answer for ourselves, in place of Isaiah’s word! Are we ready to respond?

“Here am I; send me!”

The words of St. Paul, again to the Corinthians, will enlighten and strengthen us. Let us ponder over these words. We have fifty days ahead of us.

Fr. George