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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

That you may walk worthy of the Lord

Submitted by on Thursday, 1 September 2011No Comment

Today’s Readings

  • Reading I:  Colossians 1:9-14
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 5:1-11

Paul’s Prayer for the Colossians

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We continue reading from Paul’s thanksgiving for the Colossians. He writes that from the day he heard the report of Epaphras regarding the Colossians, he has been ceaselessly praying for them that they "may be filled with the knowledge of (God’s) will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding" so that they may "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord." The "manner worthy of the Lord" is further described as fruitfulness in every good work and increasing knowledge of God. And then Paul also prays for strength so that they may endure the challenges of being Christians with joyful patience and thanksgiving.

The word for thanksgiving that Paul uses with regards to his and his companions’ own actions (3) and that of the Colossians (12) is the Greek word eucharistein, the same word from which our own word for the Mass, "eucharist" derives. I mention this because thanking God — even in Paul — does not mean a vague feeling of gratitude, but one that is specific and flows from the Christians knowledge of his/her status before God as one who (a) shares in the inheritance of the saints (divine filiation), (b) membership in the kingdom of Christ (heavenly citizenship), insertion into the Total Christ (see v. 18).

The Call of the First Disciples

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Luke replaces the Marcan account of the call of the first disciples with a material from his own tradition. The account has similarities with John 21 and so interpreters often explain that this is a post-resurrection event that Luke has transferred here at this point of his narration to show that the calling of the disciples is somehow an anticipation of the Resurrection event. Jesus calls his disciples in view of the post-Resurrection commissioning. There is therefore — in the mind of Luke — continuity between the pre-Resurrection and post-Resurrection stages in the life of Christ.

Peter’s experience of the miraculous catch of fish makes him realize that the Divine has revealed Himself. Any experience of a divine calling is rooted in such an insight, no matter how vague it may be the first time. Peter’s initial reaction is one that has been described as normal to those who have experienced the Sacred — aversion. "Depart from me… I am a sinful man." But together with that feeling of aversion also comes the experience of being called, of being "attracted" to the source of the experience. "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."

Jesus who has begun his mission of proclaiming the advent of God’s reign now associates fishermen to his mission. "Catching men" is a figure used for a king’s conquests. And Jesus intends to enlarge the space where God could reign through the work of those who have experienced His forgiveness.

Colossians 1:9-14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
9Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding:
10That you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God:
11Strengthened with all might, according to the power of his glory, in all patience and longsuffering with joy,
12Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:
13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,
14In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins;
Luke 5:1-11
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth,
2And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3And going into one of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting he taught the multitudes out of the ship.
4Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5And Simon answering said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net.
6And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke.
7And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking.
8Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken.
10And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him.

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