Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings:     Jeremiah 6:1-8;    1 Corinthians 15:1-11;    Luke 5:1-11

A passenger in a taxi leaned forward and tapped the driver on the shoulder.  At this touch, the driver screamed and swerved off the road; the cab bounced over the curb, careened off a lamppost and came to a stop on the sidewalk.  The startled passenger apologized, “I did not mean to scare you.  I just wanted to ask you a question.”

The taxi driver said, “Sorry… This is my first day as a cab driver.  For the past 25 years I drove a hearse.”

I guess, changing jobs can sometimes cause problems.

What is our “job” as people of faith?  As we know, our Baptism calls us to grow in love of God, love of others and in being faithful disciples.

Like Isaiah the Prophet, like St. Paul, and like Peter from our Scripture Readings… We – you and I – are called by God to serve his people, called by God to be sharers of the Good News, called by God to get to know his Son, Jesus.

Don’t you love it when people want to make sure you are aware of your faults and shortcomings and limitation?  Well, Isaiah struggled with his call to be a prophet.  Paul was painfully aware of his short comings and unworthiness.  And each of us is in a similar situation… But, the call of God is enough, the grace of God is enough!

When it comes to sharing the Good News that is of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and so much more…  God chooses whomever he wills for what needs to be done to bring forth the Kingdom of God here on earth as it is in Heaven.

Each of us is called.  How are we responding to God’s call?  How is the God of all that is good, “encompassing everything we do in life?”

I would suggest, that it might be a good idea to see ourselves like the first disciples of Jesus.  They took time to get to know Jesus, to really know Jesus.  For sure we know Jesus but, maybe this Lent 2016 is asking us to “Rediscover Jesus.”  (Today, as you leave church, we would invite you to pick up your free copy of the book Rediscover Jesus at the Kiosk, near the Chapel Doors… also, do consider signing up to receive a 2-minute video each day of Lent that takes you through this book.)

And in rediscovering Jesus, we like the fishermen of the Gospel who “knew the fish were not biting that night” put out into the deep at the request of our Lord, our Savior, our friend and brother:  Jesus.  And the result was that their trust and daring was rewarded to the extreme.

Once upon a time, 600 guests from all over the world, movie stars, poets, playwrights, Politicians, business owners, super models, sports stars and a handful of people who were friends of the host were gathered together.  A wonderful dinner was served, wine flowed, and then after dinner the host introduced a famous Shakespearean actor who spent the next 35 minutes superbly presenting experts from the writing of William Shakespeare.  With each presentation came thunderous applause.  When he finished people requested the actor to present their favorite passages from Shakespeare, which the actor did superbly.  Then came a request from an old man, a priest.  He said to the actor, “I know this is not Shakespeare, but I was wondering if you would present for us the 23rd Psalm.”

The actor replied, “I would be happy to, Father, on just one condition.  And that is, that when I am finished reciting the Psalm, you, too, will recite the Psalm for us, here this evening.”

The old man hesitated and was uncomfortable presenting himself.  But finally agreed.

And so the actor began in a loud, powerful, eloquent voice, “The Lord is my Shepherd.   There is nothing I shall want.”

When the actor finished, people stood and clapped and cheered, like they would never stop clapping and cheering.  And then it was the turn of the old man.

He began the 23rd Psalm in a voice that was soft and gentle:

“The Lord is My Shepherd.     There is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is at my side.      I shall live in the house of the Lord forever.”

When the Priest finished, nobody clapped, nobody spoke, and nobody moved.   And as the old man slowly took his seat, every eye was on him.

Then the actor stood back up and said, “Do you realize what you have witnessed here tonight?”  The people looked at him with a dazed look.  He said, “What is the difference between my presentation of the Psalm and the old man’s presentation of the Psalm?  What makes his presentation so powerful, to fill this room with such profound silence?  I will tell you,” he said, “The difference?   I know the Psalm; but Father, he knows the Shepherd.”

This Lent, my prayer is that each of us as person, family and Parish will get to know the Shepherd, a bit more.   That we will truly:  “Rediscover Jesus.”