Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
February 06, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.








Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care,
that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace,
they may be defended always by your protection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Is 6:1-2a,3-8 

In the year King Uzziah died,
I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne,
with the train of his garment filling the temple.
Seraphim were stationed above.

They cried one to the other,
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!
All the earth is filled with his glory!"
At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook
and the house was filled with smoke.

Then I said, "Woe is me, I am doomed!
For I am a man of unclean lips,
living among a people of unclean lips;
yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"
Then one of the seraphim flew to me,
holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar.

He touched my mouth with it, and said,
"See, now that this has touched your lips,
your wickedness is removed, your sin purged."

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
"Whom shall I send?  Who will go for us?"
"Here I am," I said; "send me!"

Responsorial Psalm Ps 138:1-2,2-3,4-5,7-8

R/.  In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.

Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
 your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
 you built up strength within me.

All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth;
and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD:
"Great is the glory of the LORD."
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.

Second Reading 1 Cor 15:3-8,11

Brothers and sisters,
I handed on 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;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.

After that, he appeared to more
than five hundred brothers at once,
most of whom are still living,
though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the apostles.
Last of all, as to one abnormally born,
he appeared to me.
Therefore, whether it be I or they,
so we preach and so you believed.

Alleluia Mt 4:19

Gospel Lk 5:1-11 

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening
to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
"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 the boats 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."
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men."
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

Reflection Questions

  1. To whom are you being sent?
  2. What aspect of the faith handed on to you is “of first importance” to you?
  3. Where are you experiencing empty nets these days?

Catena Nova

If Christ had first chosen a man skilled in public speaking, such a man might well have said: “I have been chosen on account of my eloquence.” If he had chosen a senator, the senator might have said: “I have been chosen because of my rank.” If his first choice had been an emperor, the emperor surely might have said: “I have been chosen for the sake of the power I have at my disposal.” Let these worthies keep quiet and defer to others; let them hold their peace for a while. I am not saying they should be passed over or despised; I am simply asking all those who can find any grounds for pride in what they are to give way to others just a little. But Christ says: Give me this fisherman, this man without education or experience, this man to whom no senator would deign to speak, not even if he were buying fish. Yes, give me him; once I have taken possession of him, it will be obvious that it is I who am at work in him. Although I mean to include senators, orators, and emperors among my recruits, even when I have won over the senator I shall still be surer of the fisherman. The senator can always take pride in what he is, so can the orator and emperor, but the fisherman can glory in nothing except Christ alone. Any of these other men may come and take lessons from me in the importance of humility for salvation, but let the fisherman come first. He is the best person to win over an emperor. Remember this fisherman, then, this holy, just, good, Christ-filled fisherman. In his nets cast throughout the world he has the task of catching this nation as well as all as all the others. (St. Augustine of Hippo)

The soul should know herself accurately and should behold the Original Beauty reflected in the mirror and in the figure of her own beauty. For truly herein consists the real assimilation to the Divine - making our own life in some degree a copy of the Supreme Being.(St. Macrina)

The soul is kissed by God
in its innermost regions.

With interior yearning,
grace and blessing
are bestowed.

It is a yearning to take on God's gentle yoke,
it is a yearning to give one's self to God's way. (St. Hildegard of Bingen)

We have our treasure in earthen vessels, but Thou, O Holy Spirit, when Thou livest in a man, Thou livest in what is infinitely lower. Thou Spirit of Holiness, Thou livest in the midst of impurity and corruption; Thou Spirit of Wisdom, Thou livest in the midst of folly; Thou Spirit of Truth, Thou livest in one who is himself deluded. Oh, continue to dwell there, Thou who dost not seek a desirable dwelling place, for Thou wouldst seek there in vain, Thou Creator and Redeemer, make a dwelling for Thyself; oh, continue to dwell there, that one day Thou mightest finally be pleased by the dwelling which Thou didst Thyself prepare in my heart, foolish, deceiving, and impure as it is. (Soren Kierkegaard)

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which has to be asked for, the door at which one has to knock. It is costly, because it calls to discipleship; it is grace, because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly, because it costs people their lives; it is grace, because it thereby makes them live. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

One needs to open one’s heart to the abundance of grace and to allow the word of the Redeemer to act with all its power: ‘Duc in altum!’ (Put out into the deep!) Whoever opens their heart to Christ will not only understand the mystery of their own existence, but also that of their own calling; they will bear the abundant fruit of grace. (Pope St. John Paul II)

This Sunday’s Gospel tells us — in St Luke’s narrative — of the call of Jesus’ first disciples (5:1-11). The event takes place in the context of everyday life: there are several fishermen on the shore of the lake of Galilee, who, after working all night and catching nothing, are washing and arranging their nets. Jesus gets into one of the boats, that of Simon, called Peter, whom he asks to put out a little from the shore, and he starts to preach the Word of God to the crowd of people who had gathered. When he is finished speaking, he tells them to put out into the deep and cast the nets. Simon had previously met Jesus and felt the prodigious power of his word. Therefore, he responds: “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets” (v. 5). And this faith of his did not disappoint: indeed, the nets filled with so many fish that they nearly broke (cf. v. 6). Facing this extraordinary event, the fishermen are greatly astonished. Simon Peter throws himself at Jesus’ feet, saying: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (v. 8). That prodigious sign convinces him that Jesus is not only a formidable master whose word is true and powerful, but he is the Lord, he is the manifestation of God. For Peter this close presence brings about a strong sense of his own pettiness and unworthiness. From a human point of view, he thinks that there should be distance between the sinner and the Holy One. In truth, his very condition as a sinner requires that the Lord not distance Himself from him, in the same way that a doctor cannot distance himself from those who are sick. Jesus’ response to Simon Peter is reassuring and decisive: “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men” (v. 10). Once again the fisherman of Galilee, placing his trust in this word, leaves everything and follows the one who has become his Lord and Master. Simon’s workmates, James and John, do the same. This is the logic that guides Jesus’ mission and the mission of the Church: go in search, “fish” for men and women, not to proselytize, but to restore full dignity and freedom to all, through the forgiveness of sins. This is the essential point of Christianity: to spread the free and regenerative love of God, with a welcoming and merciful attitude toward everyone, so that each person can encounter God’s tenderness and have the fullness of life. (Pope Francis)


What’s In Your Net?

            Seems a lot of nets are empty these days.  And like Peter’s, it’s not for lack of trying.  Congress has been unable to pass legislation that would protect minority voting rights.  Gun violence continues to shatter the peace and the lives of its victims, no matter how many initiatives are put forth to curb it.  Despite valiant efforts of health officials, resistance to vaccines keeps hospital wards and morgues at capacity.  And diplomacy seems doomed to failure as the Ukraine crisis deepens.  Like the apostle, we might be forgiven if someone were to suggest, “Try again,” and we replied, “No thanks.”

            Something, however, made Peter give it another go.  Was it an attempt to humor the prophet from Nazareth?  Maybe it was an act of desperation.  When all else fails, why not give religion a try?  Perhaps it was a glimmer of faith in this self-confessed sinful man, willing to give this Jesus the benefit of a doubt.  After all, Luke tells us Jesus had already cured Peter’s mother-in-law from fever and expelled a demon from someone in the synagogue at Capernaum.  And crowds of people were coming to him with various diseases and he cured them (cf. Lk 4:31-41).  So you’d think Peter would be a little more open when Jesus told him, Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch (G).

            Maybe the reason Peter was having such a hard time, working all night and catching nothing, was because he needed to go deeper.  Something Peter would do over and over again as his fishing career took many a new direction.  See, there were no fish to catch near the surface of Lake Gennesaret.  Even skilled fishermen like Peter, James and John weren’t able to catch a thing until those nets were lowered to a certain depth.  And so it is with us. 

            For it's easy to live at a surface level, isn’t it?  Concerned with the immediate, the convenient, the indulgent.  So why care about the next generation, when I’m sure they’ll figure it out?  Or why strive for excellence, when I can do the minimum and still get by?  And why not eat, drink and be merry?  Those approaches to life are all too common, aren’t they?  And the paralysis we often feel in the face of problems like climate change, gun violence, political divisions, a global pandemic, all tempt us to throw our hands in the air and wonder, “Why bother?”  Those nets will always come up empty.  They require us to look at the root causes – the depths – and once we do that, well, like Peter said, “We’ve been at it all night, and nothing much changes.” Problem is, less effort means fewer fish – and maybe none at all. 

            Now I know how depths can be murky, especially at night, when we’ve been groping in the dark.  Whether the appearance of another Covid variant, or the latest mass shooting, or another political outrage, or yet one more rumor of war – or however you might be “in the dark” in your own life – it’s not easy to hear someone say, “Don’t give up.”  And we might want to say, “Look, you’ve got the wrong person.”  “What you’re asking is way above my pay grade.”  “There are a lot better choices out there.”

            No doubt there are.  I often tell God, “You could have done a lot better.”  Fortunately, I’m in good company.  Beginning with Peter, who didn’t feel the least bit worthy of the Lord’s call, who fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man” (G).  Or St. Paul, who felt he was the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because [he] persecuted the church of God (II).

            Then there’s Jeremiah. Remember last week’s reading when the Lord told him, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you?” And Jeremiah responded, “Ah, LORD GOD, I know not how to speak; I am too young.” But God replied, “Say not you are too young, To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you” (Jer.1:5-8). And today we have the prophet Isaiah, whose first reaction to God’s call was, Woe is me, I am doomed!  For I am a man of unclean lips (I).

            And the same is true for us who are called and chosen, despite the faults and failings that would make anyone think God got it wrong.  Which is why the Lord said to Peter: Do not be afraid.  Do not be afraid, even when your nets come up empty, or when you find yourself in deep water, working hard all night, but catching nothingDo not be afraid, even then, afraid of whatever keeps your nets from filling. Rather, bring your boat to shore, leaving those things behind. Then you will catch what you need, by following him, for the grace of God is with you too (II). Who is Lord, forever and ever. Amen .



Intercessions (cf. Msgr. Joseph Masiello)

In the name of the Lord Christ, let us pray to the God, whose glory fills heaven and earth.

That the Church throughout the world, shepherds and faithful, may embrace, in word and work, the path to holiness, and joyfully share the invitation to follow the Christ.

That the insanity of war may yield to a diplomatic resolution of the crisis between the Ukraine and Russia.

That the leaders of the nations may be willing to take risks and “put out into deep water” to bring God’s justice and peace to the peoples of the world.

That the immigration and border security conversations of our national leaders may be guided by justice, compassion, and the common good.

That our various ministries of outreach and service may be extended through an ever-greater response to the stewardship way of life.

That our service men and women, First Responders, law enforcement, and medical personnel may be blessed with safety; and, the seriously ill in our community and among our family members and friends gifted with love’s comfort and the healing touch of our God.

That Easter’s glorious hope may wrap the hearts of those among us in mourning; and all our beloved dead come to be welcomed into God’s eternal embrace of peace and love.

Most holy God,
the earth is filled with your glory,
and in your presence angels stand in awe.
Enlarge our vision,
that we may recognise your power at work in your Son
and join the apostles and prophets
as heralds of your saving word.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)



Isaiah in a vision did of old

The Lord of hosts enthroned on high behold;

His splendid train was wide out-spread until

Its streaming glory did the temple fill.

Above his throne the shining seraphim

With six-fold wings did rev’rence unto him;

With two each seraph hid his glorious face,

And two about his feet did interlace,

And with the other two he soared on high,

And to one another thus did cry:

“Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord of hosts!

His glory filleth all the earth!”

The beams and lintels at their crying shook,

And all the house was filled with billowing smoke.

(Spiritual Communion)

After the Lord’s Prayer, reflect on the ways in which you are being called by the Lord for some task or service, and the ways you might be resisting that call our of feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy.  Ask the Lord to renew you strength and commitment, knowing that your nets are truly overladen with all that you need.


Closing Hymn


Lord, you have come to the seashore,
neither searching for the rich nor the wise,
desiring only that I should follow.

O, Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name;
all I longed for I have found by the water,
at your side, I will seek other shores.

Lord, see my goods, my possessions;
in my boat you find no power, no wealth.
Will you accept, then, my nets and labor?

O, Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name;
all I longed for I have found by the water,
at your side, I will seek other shores.

O, Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name;
all I longed for I have found by the water,
at your side, I will seek other shores.