Feb 072013

By Fr. Andrew Kelly

On Ash Wednesday ashes will be smeared on believers’ foreheads with the words: “Repent and believe the Gospel.”
Sunday’s Gospel story about Simon Peter is a story of what it means to “Repent and believe the Gospel.”
Hopefully through the Lenten discipline of prayer, fasting and alms giving, believers’ lives will be as transformed as Simon Peter’s life was transformed in Sunday’s Gospel.
Simon Peter first begs Jesus: “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
Jesus will hear none of it.  Instead Jesus proclaims words of encouragement and mission: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”
Simon Peter believes Jesus’ words of forgiveness, conversion and mission:  “…they left everything and followed Jesus.”
Jesus’ powerful word transformed Simon Peter’s perception of himself as sinner into the awareness that he was now a companion of Jesus Christ.
Come Easter Sunday, through the grace of God and faithfulness to the Lenten discipline, hopefully the community will be able to join Simon Peter in conversion and acclamation:
“We are no longer sinners. We are now companions of Jesus Christ.  We will leave everything behind and follow Jesus Christ unreservedly. Alleluia!   Alleluia!  Alleluia!”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

Scripture Readings for Feb. 10-17
Is 6:1-2a, 3-8
1 Cor 15:1-11 or 15:3-8, 11
Lk 5:1-11
Gn 1:1-19
Mk 6:53-56
Gn 1:20—2:4a
Mk 7:1-13
Jl 2:12-18
2 Cor 5:20—6:2
Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
Dt 30:15-20
Lk 9:22-25
Is 58:1-9a
Mt 9:14-15
Is 58:9b-14
Lk 5:27-32
Dt 26:4-10
Rom 10:8-13
Lk 4:1-13

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