Thursday, XXII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Gregory the Great, Pray for Us

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 3:18-23; Ps: 24; Gos: Lk 5:1-11

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Thursday of the twenty second week of ordinary time, the Church honors Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor.

Gregory was born at Rome in 540. He received a classical education in liberal arts and the law, and had a strong religious formation from his devout family.

He was successively senator and prefect of Rome before the age of 30. Gregory chose to leave the civil administration to become a monk. This was during the rise of the Benedictine order.

He is one of the most admired Popes in history. At the age of 50 he was elected pope, and served from 590 to 604. Gregory died on March 12, 604.

In today’s gospel, Christ called Peter to follow Him. How could Peter, an experienced fisherman who could not catch any fish throughout the night be a fisher of men?

Men, the most difficult of all the species created by God. Of course, Christ knew that Peter was not worthy and afraid when he confessed: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” So, he said to Peter: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”

The lesson for us today is that, it is the grace of God that sustains those whom he calls. He sanctifies and justifies those whom he called (Rom 8:30).

Our experience is important, but not sufficient for God’s mission. So, what helps us is “his grace”, which as Paul reminds us, “is sufficient for us” (2 Cor 12:9).

At times we feel like Isaiah, Paul or Peter. We feel so unworthy of our call that we can hardly do anything. At times, we also feel as if all depends on us.

Of course, we should feel that way because, like them, we are humans. However, we should realize that, it is God who calls, sanctifies and makes us worthy instruments for his mission.

Finally, like Isaiah, if we can sincerely say: “Here I am, Lord send me.” Then, Christ will make us “fishers of men.”

Saint Gregory the Great, Pray for Us!

Peace be with you all.

Maranatha!

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