Faith and Refining

While the nation celebrates Groundhog Day, we as a church celebrate the Feast of the Presentation as recounted in today’s gospel. St. Luke’s narration is of the Presentation in the Temple. The presentation that was required 40 days after Jesus’ nativity to complete Mary’s ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn son, in obedience to the Torah (cf. Leviticus 12, Exodus 13:12–15). It is then and there that the Holy Family encountered Simeon who had waited a lifetime. Then suddenly Jesus was there. Simeon possessed a patience and faith most of us do not possess. Continue reading

Catch and Response

Yesterday, in our review of the gospel for the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Simon and his companions caught more fish than seemed possible. Nets were ripping, boats were tipping and they had to call to their friends to assist in pulling in the catch – all at the word of the carpenter’s son giving commands to this crew of experienced fishermen. Carpenter or no – the result is a phenomenal catch of fish. Many scholars give lots of attention to the parallels with John 21:4-8 and, while interesting, is distracting. The Johannine setting is after Jesus’ Resurrection and points to the mission of the Church. This Lucan scene is at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and points to the initial reception of those who would be disciples. Continue reading