The podcasts below are from the Word on Fire archives from the past two decades and pertain to this Sunday’s readings.
Friends, the spiritual life begins with an invasion of grace out of God’s sheer, unmerited love. As we direct our lives toward the light, we become more aware of our sin in order to embark on our mission as vehicles of his salvation for the rest of the world.
The essential dynamics of the spiritual life
There is a wonderful parallel between our first reading and the Gospel this week. The first reading is taken from the sixth chapter of the book of the prophet Isaiah, and it has to do with the call of Isaiah; and the Gospel is from the fifth chapter of Luke, and it deals with the call of the first disciples of Jesus. Both stories, in remarkably similar ways, lay out the essential dynamics of the spiritual life.
Will you cooperate with Jesus once he decides to get into your boat?
This week’s reading from the Gospel of Luke shows us that our encounter with Christ is an invasion of grace and that we must be ready to welcome that grace and go out into the depths, and ascend to the heights, at its calling. Without being invited, Jesus simply gets into the fisherman’s boat. This is to insinuate himself in the most direct way into Simon’s life. And without further ado, he begins to give orders, first asking Simon to put out from the shore and then to go out into the deep. This represents the invasion of grace. The single most important decision that you will ever make is this: Will you cooperate with Jesus once he decides to get into your boat?
Shar[ing] with others the Grace that we have received
Grace shakes us to the foundations, provoking in us a keen awareness of our own sinfulness, and offering us the liberating power of the forgiveness of our sins. Once transformed by God’s grace, we are sent out on mission and through our mission, we share with others the Grace that we have received.
FEBRUARY 1, 2001
The story of the call of Simon
The Bible rather consistently lays out three ways walked by the man or woman of holiness: finding the center, knowing you’re a sinner, and realizing your life is not about you. All of these are beautifully presented in the story of the call of Simon.