“Here am I! Send me.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-2a.3-8)
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.” And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
The word of the Lord
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 138:1-2a, 2bcd-3, 4-5, 7c-8 (R. 1c)
R/. In the presence of the angels I praise you, O Lord
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
You have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I praise you.
I bow down towards your holy temple. R/.
I give thanks to your name
for your merciful love and your faithfulness.
You have exalted your name and your promise over all.
On the day I called, you answered me;
you increased the strength of my soul. R/.
R/. In the presence of the angels I praise you, O Lord.
All earth’s kings shall thank you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
“How great is the glory of the Lord!” R/.
With your right hand you save me;
the Lord will accomplish this for me.
O Lord, your merciful love is eternal;
discard not the work of your hands. R/.
“So we preach and so you believed. ”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 11)
I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast — unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA Matthew 4: 19
Alleluia. Follow me, says the Lord, and I will make you fishers of men. Alleluia
“They left everything and followed him. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 5:1- 11)
At that time: While the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
The Gospel of the Lord
There is a saying that ‘God does not call the qualified but qualifies the called.’ This holds true in the call of Isaiah and in the calls of Jesus’ first four disciples. Isaiah saw himself as unfit, saying, ‘I am a man of unclean lips,’ when God called him but his uncleanness did not stop God from calling him. What was necessary was his response and readiness to change. For the first four disciples, they were completely unfit to be in the presence of Jesus, as Peter said: ‘Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.’ The fact remains that willingness to render service to God and to humanity is what God wants from us. He continues to call each of us to leave everything else to do his will and spread the Gospel. We only need to ask ourselves whether we are responding to his call or ignoring it. Just as God is ready ‘to remove our wickedness and purge our sins’, we must be ready to leave everything hindering us from heeding his call.