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Feb 4, 2001 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time  Luke 5:1-11
Catholic Homilies
February 4th, 2001

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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Luke 5:1-11


From the beginning of Luke’s story of discipleship, Peter seems to be a spokesman for the other disciples and for those of us who come after his time. A pattern emerges in this excerpt and repeats itself over and over. Peter questions the command of Jesus; but eventually obeys the command. And then he is astonished at what the Lord does and a bit afraid of what it all means. Yet, somehow, he overcomes his amazement (and in later cases even his shame) and commits himself to follow Jesus. This is heartening for those of us who hear the Good News on a Sunday, pledge to live it out during the remainder of the week, forget by Monday or Tuesday, and then often encounter a reminder of God’s presence in our lives and repeat our pledge. How grand to have this reminder that even the Rock falters!

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Once upon a time, in the late 60’s a new pastor came to a parish. Up until his arrival, the parish had pretty much limped along with the support of those folks who had grown up in the flourishing parishes of the pre-Vatican II days. They thought of the parish as a place where they belonged. However, there was little encouragement from the priests of the parish to respond to the challenges of the Council. The new pastor, though by no means a young man, still was enthusiastic about the ideas of the council. He was disappointed that so few of the parishioners showed any concern about the issues discussed at the council and that many of them were not even receptive to the new ideas. So he gathered together a group of men and women that seemed interested in some of his ideas and began holding weekly small group discussions with them. This was the time when most wives were not working so eventually a woman became the leading force of the group. Eventually, the pastor asked her to head up a program that would be offered to the entire parish. At first she demurred. "I’m just a simple housewife," she said. "I couldn’t organize anything. And I don’t know if the other members of our group would want me to do this or even help me do it." But the pastor persisted in his request, telling her she could do it. All she had to do was try and the others would follow her. And sure enough, she did what he expected she would do, She threw herself into organizing a program, appointing people to the various tasks necessary to make the program a success and eventually had developed an ongoing adult religious education program for the community. No one was more surprised at how successful the program was than the woman herself . No one was more confident that it would be successful than the pastor.

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No one was more surprised at how successful the program was

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