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Commentary

These are texts that are dripping with testosterone. Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday.
Analogies could be made between today’s lessons and football: sin – making a
mistake in executing a play, catching people – moving from fans to tackle (Al-
though it is important to note that the position is offensive not defensive), and
Jesus – the all star player who sacrifices everything for the loosing team.

Isaiah 6:1-13
The prophet sees God seated on His throne and God is surrounded by the angels
praising God. One of these angels, takes a coal, touches the prophet’s lips with
the coal, and then proclaims that the prophet’s sins are forgiven. Next, the prophet
is sent to proclaim the Word to a people that God has made incapable of hearing,
seeing, or understanding. The prophet must stay at this task until the cities are
completely annihilated.

Isaiah 6:1 the year that King Uzziah died – This sets the historical context for
what will happen.
sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple
– This description provides us with a few of the L ORD’s attributes:

• sitting on a throne – This indicates a ruler.


• high and lofty – Literally, the king over all.
• the hem of his robe filled the temple – While the L ORD is in the temple,
He is also doing what is needed.

Isaiah 6:2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two
they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two
they flew. – This type of ruler does not require protection but instead praise
and adoration.
The covering of the face is because no one can look on the L ORD and live.
The covering of the feet is an euphemism for genitalia. The Seraphs keep
their genitalia covered because they know the L ORD is the One who give
power to have children. The remaining two wings are used to stay off the
holy ground and away from things that contaminate.

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Isaiah 6:3 Holy, holy, holy is the L ORD of hosts – The praise of the Seraphs is
echoed in the Church during the liturgy.
Isaiah 6:4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called,
and the house filled with smoke. – Even the songs of the Seraphs, cause
mortals to fear for their lives.
Isaiah 6:5 Woe is me! I am lost – This is the concern of all the people. Humanity
is polluted and cannot face the splendor of the L ORD. It also speaks of the
destiny that awaits each person that has ever lived.
Isaiah 6:6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me – No human deserves to be in the
L ORD’s presence. It seems that the seraph will destroy the prophet.
holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.
– The fire of the L ORD is so dangerous that it must not be touched even by
a seraph.
Isaiah 6:7 The seraph touched my mouth – Surprisingly, the human is exposed to
this fire and is not completely destroyed.
Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I;
send me!” – This is the great call and response that is modeled in the liturgy.
The L ORD asks and humanity answers.

Psalm 138
The psalmist praises the L ORD because the L ORD has answered him. Every king
has heard the L ORD and they will also praise the L ORD. In times of danger, the
L ORD protects the psalmist. The L ORD’s plans will be completed and the L ORD’s
love lasts forever.
Psalm 138:1 I give you thanks, O L ORD, with my whole heart – Every part of the
author’s intellect is involved in praising the L ORD.
before the gods I sing your praise – All the other items that the psalmist
might serve have been given notice. They run a distant second to the L ORD.
Psalm 138:2 I bow down towards your holy temple – Even from far away, the
author acknowledges the L ORD.
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness
– The L ORD keeps His word and this is reason to praise Him.

2
Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, you answered me – The L ORD listens and
responds to the prayer of the psalmist.
you increased my strength of soul – The author’s life is measurably better
after prayer.

Psalm 138:4 All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O L ORD – Even the rulers
of the world, have a L ORD over them.

Psalm 138:5 T HEY SHALL SING OF THE WAYS OF THE L ORD – Salvation is not
limited to the Jews, others will know the L ORD.

Psalm 138:6 For though the L ORD is high, he regards the lowly – The perceived
and actual distance between the L ORD and His creation does not prevent
God from remembering people others forget.

Psalm 138:7 you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. – The
L ORD helps. This verse needs to be read at the same time as Psalm 22.

Psalm 138:8 The L ORD will fulfil his purpose for me – There is a plan to creation
and the L ORD move history itself to achieve His purpose.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Paul reminds the congregation of the Gospel that he gave them. Paul then recounts
Christ’s death and resurrection. Next, Paul tells the Corinthians that he is not fit to
be a apostle because he persecuted the church. He finishes this portion of the letter
by telling the congregation that it does not matter who proclaimed the Gospel. The
real issue is that they now believe in Jesus.

1 Corinthians 15:1 Now I should remind you – It seems that there is some dis-
agreement on what Paul is teaching and what others have said. In order to
drive the point home that he is speaking the truth, Paul will defend what he
has transmitted to the church in Corinth.
I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand
– In Paul’s mind, the transmission from the apostle to the church has been
faithful so the members of the church are fully responsible for their actions.

1 Corinthians 15:2 you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you –
This idea of grasping the faith stands in direct contrast to other messages

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proclaimed by Paul (Galatians 2:16). Perhaps, the current ways of talking
about faith are too simplistic since they address a single mode that actually
changes through one’s life.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I handed on to you – The image here is one of faithful
transmission. Paul asserts that nothing has been either added or subtracted.
This is important because changes to the message might produce different
outcomes.
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures – This sum-
mary of the death of Jesus partially show that Jesus realized His death would
be necessary.

1 Corinthians 15:4 in accordance with the scriptures – Paul teaches that both the
death and the resurrection are found in what Christians today call the “Old
Testament.”

1 Corinthians 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve – Either
Paul does not know or he does not acknowledge how the women saw Jesus
(Matthew 28; John 20:16).

1 Corinthians 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and
sisters at one time – Many others saw the risen Lord.
most of whom are still alive – At one time in history, there were many others
who saw Jesus alive after His death.

1 Corinthians 15:7 Then he appeared to James – Since James was listed among
the twelve, is this yet another time James saw Jesus ?

1 Corinthians 15:8 Last of all – It appears that Paul’s vision on the road to Dam-
ascus is the final epiphany that Paul acknowledges.

1 Corinthians 15:9 I persecuted the church of God – Despite being one who lead
the opposition, Jesus called Paul to witness to the world.

1 Corinthians 15:10 his grace towards me has not been in vain – What was given
to Paul by God has been used for the blessing of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:11 Whether then it was I or they – Paul admits that it does not
matter who brought the Word of salvation to the church.

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Luke 5:1-11
Jesus goes to a lake and tells one of the boats to go back out and fish again. After
complaining, the men follow Christ’s command. Even though they caught nothing
all night long, this catch is enough to sink the one boat and it almost sinks a second
boat, which came to help. Peter confesses that he is a sinner. Jesus then calls Peter,
James, and John to be fishers of men.

Luke 5:1 and the crowd – In Luke’s account, the name given to a neutral group
is “crowd” and if they move to followers of Jesus they become “people.”1
lake of Gennesaret – Luke does not call this body of water a sea but instead
a lake.2 This is the Sea of Galilee and Gennesaret is a flat area on the lake’s
southwestern shore.

Luke 5:2 were washing their nets – This almost passing detail tells us that the
men had been out working the waters the previous night.3

Luke 5:3 he sat down and taught – This continues the earlier trend in Luke (4:15
and 4:31) that Jesus is a teacher.4
asked him to put out – The command to leave the shore is singular.

Luke 5:4 let down your nets – χαλάσατε τὰ δίκτυα All of you let down your nets
(Translation by author). The command is plural, thus others were probably
in the boat. The amazing power is both the number of fish that were caught
along with the fact that the fishers’ followed His directions.5

Luke 5:5 Simon answered – This is the first proper entry for Simon into the
story.6 He speaks for the others in the boat.
Master – ἐπιστάτης This term is only used by the disciples and those seek-
ing help (Luke 5:5; 8:24; 8:45; 9:33; 9:49; 17:13 ).7
1
Luke Timothy Johnson; Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., editor, The Gospel of Luke, Volume 3,
Sacra Pagina, (The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1991), p. 87.
2
Ibid.
3
Ibid.
4
Ibid.
5
Ibid., p. 89.
6
Ibid., p. 90.
7
Ibid., p. 88.

5
Luke 5:6 were beginning to break. – Luke, like the other authors, adds the note
about the size of the catch.

Luke 5:7 signaled their partners – The men had formed a cooperative where they
shared the risks and the rewards.

Luke 5:8 Simon Peter – This is the first time that Luke uses the name Peter. Luke
has a high opinion of Peter since Luke leaves out all the negative remarks
found in Mark 8:32-33 and Mark 14:37. Luke is the only Gospel writer that
has Jesus’ prayer for Peter (Luke 22:31-32) and Jesus speaks only to Peter
(Luke 24:34).
he fell down at Jesus’ knees – Peter’s actions and the word Lord now take
on a different meaning.
Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man! – Peter’s phrase follows
the same sense as other prophets who know that they are standing in God’s
presence.8 The Prophet Jesus’ Word causes a sinful man to repent. Note that
the sin is a theme in the most of readings: Isaiah, 1 Corinthians, and Luke.
The words from Peter should be understood in “mysterium tremendum ac
fascinosum”9 Sin did not keep Jesus away from Peter know does it keep
Jesus away from you.

Luke 5:9

Luke 5:10 will be catching people – Luke does not use the pun “fisher’s of men”
found in Mark and Matthew.
Given the fact that Jesus prophesied the place to fish, it seems to follow that
His Word about their new trade will be also true.10
Luke also shows us the context behind the “decisions” of faith.11 Then what
do we use today for our “decisions?” Is it nothing more than a few words or
a bit of bread and wine or a tepid community that has a few quaint customs?
Who would want to join “us”?
This is not a “call” story since Jesus does not ask Peter to follow Him.
Instead, Jesus commands Peter to not be afraid and to catch people.
8
Johnson, Luke, p. 88.
9
Ibid., p. 90.
10
Ibid., p. 89.
11
Ibid.

6
In the first part of the Bible, fishing is normally associated with gathering
people for judgement (Amos 4:2)

Luke 5:11 followed him. – For every Gospel writer, the verb ἀκολουθέω means
following Jesus with every aspect of existence.12

References
Johnson, Luke Timothy; Harrington, S.J., Daniel J., editor, The Gospel of Luke,
Volume 3, Sacra Pagina, (The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN: The
Liturgical Press, 1991).

12
Johnson, Luke, p. 89.