Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
F1. When you examine these readings, what might you see that Isaiah, Paul and Peter have in common?
F2. God had some big tasks in mind for Isaiah, Paul and Peter. What might be some small things or baby steps that God could call us to do first, till we get used to saying yes to bigger tasks?
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
S1. Paul persecuted the Church, but then, because of grace, he became a great minister. Was he given this grace solely for his own benefit? Explain.
S2. “For I am ... not fit to be called an apostle …” Do you think fit or worthy is the measure that God uses to call a person? Discuss any inconsistency between what Paul was and what he was asked to do? Is anyone “fit” or worthy?
G1. Where did Peter have to go before he could catch fish in the lake? Where did he have to go in his personal life before he could “catch” people for God? Was everything up to him or did Peter receive extraordinary help? When are you yourself when you are on the shore and when you are in the deep?
G2. What do you think we will find in the “deep of the contemporary world” where Pope Francis says (below) that reality forces us to cast our nets? List some of the dangers of “deep water.” What is there to threaten you? So why would you go there? What virtue do you need?
We need to “go out,” then, in order to experience our own anointing, its power and its redemptive efficacy: to the “outskirts” where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters. …
Those (priests) who do not go out of themselves, instead of being mediators, gradually become intermediaries, managers. … This is precisely the reason why some priests grow dissatisfied, become sad priests, lose heart and become in some sense collectors of antiques or novelties—instead of being shepherds living with “the smell of the sheep,” shepherds in the midst of their flock, fishers of men. True enough, the so-called crisis of priestly identity threatens us all and adds to the broader cultural crisis; but if we can resist its onslaught, we will be able to put out in the name of the Lord and cast our nets.
It is not a bad thing that reality itself forces us to “put out into the deep,” where what we are by grace is clearly seen as pure grace, out into the deep of the contemporary world, where the only thing that counts is “unction”—not function—and the nets which overflow with fish are those cast solely in the name of the One in whom we have put our trust: Jesus.
Pope: Homily for Chrism Mass (full text)
March 28, 2013
**From Saint Louis University