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The good news for the day September 1

Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time (434)

While the public was crowded around Jesus listening to the word of God, he was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. He noticed two boats there near the shore; the fishermen who had disembarked were washing their nets. Boarding one of the boats—Simon’s—He asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then Jesus sat down to teach publicly from the boat. Once he finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deeper water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said, “Sir, we have worked hard all night and we haven’t caught anything, but at your say-so, I will cast the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish their nets were tearing. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them.  They came over and filled both boats—so that the boats were in some danger of sinking. When Simon (“Peter”) saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Stay away from me, sir. I am someone who messes up.” (Astonishment at the catch that they had made overwhelmed him and everybody with him—as well as James and John, Zebedee, partners of Simon.) Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be scared; from now on you are going to be catching persons!” Once they brought their boats to the beach, they left everything and started following him. (Luke 5)

Pretend you are watching this YouTube video:…people push to get close enough to Jesus to hear him, pushing him towards the water…He sees nearby half a dozen net-cleaning fishermen and asks to use their boat. From it, tells people stories—about how to forgive, have faith, make peace, accept one another…he ends…notices the workmen had been cleaning their nets instead of their catch, and suggests a place to catch some. They believe and set their sails to go there… He is GOOD!—they catch fish. Peter is impressed (and a little richer!)  “I don’t know if I can handle this,’ he says. Jesus laughs, and says, “I like you, man. Come on—you’re the kind of man I need to change people from fish in a dumb school to a fish out of water—a new life.” Impetuous Simon goes home to tell his wife that he is embarking on a new career!

The Good News? You never know when the call comes! Be ready!
The good news for the day September 2

Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time (435)

Educated people and religious leaders inform Jesus, “Followers and students of John the Baptist fast often and say prayers. The students of Pharisees  do the same; but yours?–yours eat and drink freely.” The answer of Jesus: “Can you make people at a wedding reception abstain from food while the bridegroom is still there? Sure, the time will come—when the bridegroom is taken away from them—then people will not be eating in those days.” He told them another comparison: “Nobody tears a rag from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, you will just be ripping the new one, while the piece from the new cloak will not match the old one. Another example: nobody pours new wine into dried leather wine flasks. Otherwise, the new wine will break through the dried leather, the wine will leak out, and the skins will be ruined besides. No, fresh wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.” (Luke 5)

The Good News is that there is something ‘new’ about you.

Here is the story: a child once scrubbed the basement stairs—wooden stairs that had gotten sticky and muddy with use. For once the child got into it and really scrubbed with lots of soap and water and stiff brushing. Even dried them well. The mother saw it and praised the child with an odd new phrase, “You did such a mature—mature job on that.” The child was not sure what ‘mature’ meant, but—over the years came to ‘get’ it. He did something “new” for him—a thoroughness, an “into-it” commitment, a fresh way to be outside of himself and tackle the real world.

That is what it is like—changing from fish and stairs to persons—from a job well done to a different way of living. Fasting, prayer, fishing, scrubbing—what is important is none of these—but becoming mature, like Jesus, and being “new” within a new ‘life’—that is what it is all about. You start afresh—each moment—to live, to live courageously facing demons and challenges, eyes un-blinded, ears now opened, with partygoers where we share our commitment of love—the wedding reception—a new beginning

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