|Fr. John Paul Shea|
I am a convert to the Catholic Church. I was raised Mormon and left the Mormon Church at a young age and practiced no faith until our Blessed Mother called me to Her Son’s Church, the Catholic Church, several years later. I am very blessed to be Catholic, I am very blessed to be a priest, and I am happy and blessed to be here at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (also Tucson, Az).
As we consider today’s readings for this 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time, let us reflect on the greatness of God and our need to humble ourselves before Him.
All of today’s readings (Isaiah 6:1-8; 1 Cor 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11) spotlight individuals who were called by God to serve Him.
We start with the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah had lived about 700-800 years before the birth of Our Lord Jesus. He lived during the fall of Israel. Judah alone remained, and Isaiah brought the message of God at a time when idolatry seemed to be taking hold of the land.
|Angel puts a burning coal on Isaiah's lips|
to enable him to answer God's call
From the first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul describes his call for to be an apostle. He was once a persecutor of the Church of God, but now God had now chosen him to preach the Gospel.
In the Gospel, Our Lord Jesus calls Saint Peter to discipleship. As he is fishing, Our Lord tells him to lower his nets for a great catch. When Peter was astonished by the “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
The Prophet Isaiah response to God's call -- “Woe is me, I am doomed!" -- is similar to both Peter and Paul's response.
|Conversion of St. Paul |
on the Road to Damascus
My brothers and sisters, even though we may not have had a sort of radical conversion experience as did Isaiah, Peter or Paul, God wants us to experience His grace in our lives.
|St Peter: "Depart from me, |
Lord, for I am a sinful man"
In fact, along with the examples of the individuals we hear in today’s readings, many people became saints because they humbled themselves before God. Saint Therese of Lisieux, for example, who lived in the late 19th century, never did anything great. She became a saint and a doctor of the Church simply because she acknowledged her littleness and her need for God.
Many in our time and culture of today do not strive for humility. We instead want to be king. We hear terms today in our society such as “pro-choice” or “marriage equality” or “gay pride.” All of these sorts of worldly terms are rooted in pride because they reflect not the will of God but the will of the self. We want to act and live as if our bodies and our lives are ours instead of treating ourselves and others as a gift given by God.
Many Catholics today do not follow God’s call because they ignore the teachings of the Church on contraception. When Catholics are disobedient to the teachings of the Church, this is an act of pride. Pride will get us
|A big fat act of pride|
My brothers and sisters, we need humility. God is calling each one of us to discipleship. He is calling each one of us to eternal life. But, if we want to become who God calls us to be, than we must first acknowledge His greatness and our need to humble ourselves before Him. For if we humble ourselves before God, then His Divine Life will live in us and we will bear much fruit. May God bless us and help us! Amen!