(5th Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 6:1-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11)
There are many similarities in today’s three readings. For example, an extraordinary encounter with the Lord caused Isaiah, Paul, and Simon to be keenly aware of their sinfulness. This may be part of our own experience, too.
Another comparison is less obvious, but equally important. Jesus tells Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch” and, a few verses later, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” Isaiah and Paul were likewise admitted to the depths of God’s mystery, and given a mission.
At La Salette, the image is again different, but the reality is the same. We are drawn upward, to a mountain height but, with Mélanie and Maximin, we receive a mission, to make an important message known by our words and by our life.
Isaiah was especially troubled, but received a sign of God’s forgiveness when the burning ember touched his lips. Mary identified some of the sins by which her people were offending the Lord; and she reminded us of the importance of practicing our Catholic faith, especially the Eucharist which Jesus instituted “for the forgiveness of sins.” Remember this the next time the consecrated host passes your lips.
The Church also provides the sign of absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which every La Salette priest treasures in his heart. The beautiful stories we could tell!
We come once again to three key “La Salette words:” reconciliation (acknowledging and accepting our unworthiness); conversion (turning back to God and accepting his forgiveness]; and making the message known (evangelizing).
In Simon’s case, this began with his allowing Jesus to use his boat as a stage from which to teach the crowds. Little did he know where this simple act of welcome would lead.
The clear message which the Beautiful Lady proclaimed at La Salette is one which the world still greatly needs. If in our hearts and actions we let Jesus into the humble boat of our lives and go deeper at his command, who knows what good we might do?
Fr. René Butler, M.S. and Wayne Vanasse