This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
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Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”
While I was preparing for this morning’s Mass, I centered my heart and mind around today’s liturgy. I reviewed the readings I had read last night and opened up a small spiral notebook to review the prayers of the faithful (intercessions).
Since I’ve been here, I haven’t found them to be very inspirational. In fact, I’ve found them to be very ideological. I’m not very happy with that. The individual who has written these intercessions (his name will remain anonymous), apparently has a bone to pick with the Church and her doctrines. In social settings, he would be known as a left-wing or progressive Catholic. In my mind, he is a lost puppy.
I read through many of them and noticed that when the Church celebrates the memory of a female saint, this author often includes at least one female specific intercession. For example, “Let us pray that the rights of women and girls may be upheld and honored.” But when the Church celebrates a male saint, he includes no specific prayers for men.
This is so childish. Don’t we need to pray for everyone, not just women?
In today’s Gospel passage, we read how Jesus called Simon to leave behind everything (and everyone) and follow Him. For obvious reasons, this Gospel is used a lot during vocational retreats. But when I read this morning’s intercessions, I couldn’t believe my eyes: not a single intercession was written for priestly vocations! Instead, the author prayed for “fishers” (notice: he didn’t use the term “fishermen”) and all laborers, and that they may prosper.
There’s nothing wrong with praying for “fishers” and laborers. But lets also pray for priests and religious men and women as well!
When our prayers are laced with ideology and impishness, they become useless and foolish. They are like useless nets, cast from the wrong side of the boat and into shallow water.
Simon and his nets. Simon used a net to catch fish. The Lord used the Truth to catch Simon.
Nets are very useful, if they are made and used properly. They can help us catch what we are seeking. But if our net is strung together with lies and grudges, with certain preconceived notions and opinions, then all bets are off.
Christ was successful because He was honest. God is honest.
Pope Francis recently tweeted, “Let us pray for peace in Syria.” An atheist that goes by a certain username tweeted back: “Can’t have peace while religion teaches its followers hatred for other faiths and non-believers.”
It is worth noting that the only negative or hateful responses to the Pope’s initiative came from atheists. It is also worth noting how this individual completely ignores hate-filled religious bigots (like Richard Dawkins) who are atheists. One need not go far in history to note how the most notable (and most influential) atheists (Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao-tse-tung, Kim Jung-um) have been on the losing (or wrong) side of history. It’s worth noting how these atheists advocated everything except peace.
Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing. It took a lot of faith for Simon to – once again - paddle his boat out into deeper waters and - once again – cast his net into deep waters. But because of his faith in God, he did it. And because he did it, he discovered the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
The only net Simon ended up tearing that evening, was the one between him and Jesus; the one preventing him from being a Saint.
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- Luke 5