Fifth Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11
Recent efforts to recreate the magic of the Muppets and “Sesame Street” have not captured my imagination. It seems that every character and song has garnered new meaning. My favorite song still belongs to Kermit. “It isn’t easy being green,” he croons. Despite the various interpretations the words have been given throughout the years, green has always been the color of hope for me.  

Many believe that if hope is not folly, it is at least naïve. Nonetheless, no one has a greater reason for hope than a believer. Hope, I believe, comes from faith. Today as we hear the Gospel, we are with the believers who are listening to Jesus. We cast our nets into the sea when all around us tell us that there are no fish. With Isaiah, we say: “Here I am. Send me.”

Even though it isn’t easy “being green,” the reasons for our hope are a source of joy. Our hope sets us apart from those who do not believe and we glory in that difference. Because of our hope, we know that we can be more than we seem to be. We are not what we can be. Our lives are a continual journey toward the fulfillment of the promise within.

Through most of our lives we struggle to discover our own identity. This task is complicated in an age that seeks the secret of a person in a Google search. Intuitively, we know that we are not the same as all the other individuals who walk the earth. If we discover that we are different and do not know that we have worth, our discovery is useless and even dangerous. We need to travel with others to help us discover our value. We need to journey with the Church.
Within the community of believers we discover our worth because we are valued by them. This is what we say to one another at each Eucharist. This is the message of today’s Eucharist because it is the message of every Eucharist. We believe in Jesus and we believe in the Church.

Today we gather to do as Peter has encouraged us to do: “Be ever ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).  It is not enough that we gather for 45 minutes once a week. The Eucharist that begins within the Church must be brought to the world. Christians are called to bring this hope to the world.  As we leave the celebration, we are challenged to be already what we are not yet.