Anointed, not Acquired

Greetings on this the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Is 6:1-2a, 3-8; Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8; 1 Cor 15:1-11; Lk 5:1-11
Notes: You often hear me preach about the twin curses of Alliance and Advantage. How these two evils are often the cause of great falls in the secular and religious world. May I add today? Acquisition.

The title of this homily is Anointed not acquired is a reflection on the Divine Will and Divine Action as the beginning and power of all good in this life. We can relate the calling of Jeremiah, Isaiah and the apostles Simon Peter, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. We can contrast them to King Uzziah and Gehazi, the servant of Elisha both attempting to acquire illicitly.

4th Sunday the calling forward of Jeremiah:
Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying to me, See, I place my words in your mouth! (Jer 1:9).
5th Sunday the calling forward of Isaiah:
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar.

King Uzziah had the right idea but he was acting in the interests of himself and not allowing the will of God. The King and High Priest will one day be one and the same person, Jesus the Messiah. Until then, however, the priesthood is of the line of Aaron, by birth, not by acquisition. Uzziah engaged in self-glorification and pride and suffered the same fate as did Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, both struck with leprosy.


First reading
He touched my mouth with it, and said,
“See, now that this has touched your lips,
your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
“Here I am,” I said; “send me!”

Responsorial Psalm
In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

Second reading
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.

Alleluia Verse
Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.

Gospel Portion
Like Jeremiah and Isaiah, Simon Peter was shocked and intimidated by the divine calling.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him.

Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

The upshot is simple.

  • When the Lord calls you, listen and trust.
  • When you want to acquire for yourself, stop!

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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