Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 1, 2022 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“They left everything and followed Jesus.”

Isaiah had a vision of God, not a good thing in his time, since it meant you either were going to die or your life would be changed radically. Frightened, he said, “Woe is me; I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” The angel of the Lord took embers and cleansed Isaiah of his wickedness. Then Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Isaiah said, “Here I am, send me!”

St. Paul tells the Corinthians, “Last of all, as to one born abnormally, He appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles, not fit 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 to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.”

Jesus tells Peter, “‘Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.’ Simon said in reply, ‘Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.’ When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, ‘Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.’”

Isaiah, Paul, and Peter, each had a personal encounter with the Lord. Each felt that their lives were sinful in the eyes of God, confessing their unworthiness to be in the Lord’s presence. Yet, each was called by God to do His will. Jesus calls you and me to do His will. Knowing that Jesus heals us of our sinfulness, we pray that we will have the faith to answer our Lord’s call, like Isaiah, Paul, and Peter. We pray that when we hear our Lord say, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” we will say, “Here I am, send me!”

– Bp. Roy Campbell

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