Click here to edit subtitle

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)


"They left everything and followed him."


The Word This Week


We hear the call of another prophet this week - Isaiah. This introduces the Gospel, where we see Jesus calling his first disciples to follow him. Notice that the initiative is Jesus' there is no application process or interview procedure! Notice also the way that Jesus calls his disciples in this account - not with words, but with a miracle that is also a parable. It is, in a way, a miraculous "job description": if the disciple trusts completely in the one who calls, then the result will be truly amazing - a huge catch of men and women hungry for God. Simon's simple words "if you say so" give us an example of Christian discipleship: we should leave our own concerns behind, and simply follow the Lord with great trust.


Notes for Readers


First Reading: Isaiah 6: 1-8.

Last week Jeremiah's call emphasised the problems and conflict that go with a prophet's life. Today Isaiah's calls emphasises holiness: we see this clearly in his reaction - he is not "holy enough" to be God's prophet (compare Simon in the Gospel). This is no problem to God: it is the one who calls who gives the holiness, not the one who is called. All the prophet has to do is say "Here I am, send me". The first half of this reading presents a striking and mysterious image: the vision of God enthroned in great splendour. This will call for a special tone of voice - something that can capture a sense of awe at holiness revealed. Understand Isaiah's reaction in the face of this vision: fear, and dismay that he is "a man of unclean lips". But then emphasise God's action in cleansing Isaiah. The final three lines should be read very clearly: you could almost pause after "Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?" and allow the question to float over the congregation before answering: "Here I am."


Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Saint Paul's "back to basics" course for the people of Corinth today gets to the very heart of their faith: the central message that brought them into the Church in the first place. This is reckoned to be the oldest written account of the events of Easter. Paul underlines the continuity of the message - what he received he passed on. Revision is always useful, so take this opportunity to do to the congregation what Paul says: "to remind you of the gospel!" Read as Paul would have read: emphasising the appearances of Jesus after he had risen from death - especially his sense of awe that Jesus appeared to him.




Click on the link to get this Sunday Wordsearch. Feel free to copy and paste it into your parish publications.