Soul Food for Sundays

A Reflection for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (6th February 2022)

Reflections 6th February 2022
Luke 5:1-11

The Author: Fiona Owens
calendar_today Date: February 2, 2022 - 3 minutes read

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying!

In our readings today Isaiah opens us to the beautiful message that God always takes the initiative in our lives and wants us to be collaborators in sharing the message of love for all.   God is always seeking us, calling us and prompting us. God gently nudges us to notice, to listen, to hear and – most importantly – to respond. 

However, in this vision of God in the temple, we see that Isaiah, while being called by God, is distracted and focuses on the sinful nature of his life “I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips”.   

Like Isaiah, when we focus on our sinful nature this can result in us becoming stuck, trapped and paralysed in this perception of who we are before God.  In this encounter with Isaiah, we see that God is not concerned or deterred but offers peace and healing through touching his lips.  When Isaiah focuses on God rather than on himself and is open to receiving God’ loving touch through this personal encounter, he is healed, renewed and ready for mission – “Here I am; send me”. 

We see this same theme in Luke when Jesus calls the first disciples. Simon again focuses on himself and his weakness saying, “I am a sinful man.” rather than on the powerful love of God and the mission at hand.  Again, the personal encounter with Jesus saying “Do not be afraid” brings healing to him and enables Simon to respond to the missionary call. 

Our human nature is flawed but we are called beyond it to new freedom in God. God wants to get into our boat and join us in “putting out into deep water”.  However, as with Isaiah and Simon, we can often be ego-centered rather than God-centered in our lives.  This can keep us trapped and paralysed when there is much to be done.   

God understands our sinfulness and wants us to know how much we are loved. Pope Francis emphasises this so well when he writes “When everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved” (Joy of the Gospel 6). 

Today, let us turn our focus away from ourselves and towards God and remember the words, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).   

We pray that our hearts will be open to receive the healing touch of God’s infinite love which empowers us for mission.  In the words of Andy Dufrense from the film Shawshank Redemption, which are you going to do “get busy living or get busy dying”? 

Image: Pixabay Julia-B

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Fiona Owens

Fiona, who completed her Masters in Chaplaincy from DCU, is chaplain to Willow Park First Year School. A qualified Spiritual Director, she also works as Content Editor for Sacred Space, the prayer website of the Irish Jesuits.