Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, C Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Readings & Background


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
Isaiah 6:1-2a,3-8
Isaiah describes his vision and call from the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 138:1-5,7-8
A song of thanks to God who saves us

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (shorter form, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8,11)
Paul reminds the Corinthians of the gospel that he announced to them.

Gospel Reading
Luke 5:1-11
The fishermen (Simon, James, and John) leave their fishing boats and follow Jesus.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Last Sunday, we heard how Jesus was rejected in his hometown of Nazareth. In the verses that follow, Jesus travels to the town of Capernaum and begins his ministry of teaching and healing. While in Capernaum, Jesus cures a man possessed with a demon and heals Simon's mother-in-law. After spending some time there, Jesus prepares to preach in other places. The fact that Jesus had previously been in Simon's home and healed his mother-in-law suggests that this encounter is not the first between Jesus and Simon Peter. We can read today's Gospel, therefore, as a description of the developing relationship between Jesus and Simon Peter.

In today's Gospel, Jesus teaches from Simon's boat. Jesus turns to Simon and instructs him about where to lower the fishing nets. Simon and others have been fishing throughout the night and have not caught anything. Simon protests, claiming that such an effort would be futile. Simon ultimately obeys Jesus and lowers his nets into the deeper water as directed. Notice here that Peter calls Jesus by the title “master.” He already recognizes Jesus as a person of authority. They catch so many fish that the nets begin to tear; Jesus' presence has created abundance out of scarcity, just as it did at the wedding feast at Cana, which we heard at Mass just a few weeks ago.

Simon Peter becomes a follower of Jesus immediately. He calls Jesus “Lord”—the title given to Jesus after his Resurrection—and protests his worthiness to be in Jesus' presence. Today's Gospel, therefore, marks a turning point in the relationship between Jesus and Peter.

Two of Simon's partners are also named as witnesses to the event described in today's Gospel: Zebedee's sons, James and John. Yet Jesus' words are addressed only to Simon. Jesus gives Simon a new job, telling him that he will become a different kind of fisherman. No longer will he catch fish; instead he will catch people. In these words, we hear the beginning of the leadership role that Peter will have within the community of disciples. Peter was chosen for this role. His task will be to bring others to Jesus. Already he is doing so; the Gospel tells us that all the fishermen with Peter also left their nets and followed Jesus.

We continue to speak of Peter's leadership and influence in the Church today when we call the pope the “successor of Peter.” We participate in the mission of the Church when we bring people to Christ through the example and positive influence of our lives.

Grades 1-3


Gospel Reading
Luke 5:1-11
The fishermen (Simon, James, and John) leave their fishing boats and follow Jesus.


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Younger children love to hear and tell stories. Learning and retelling stories about Jesus’ life is a way for children to joyfully share the Good News.

Materials Needed

  • small fish shapes cut out of paper for children to color; colored pencils or crayons

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Distribute the paper fish and crayons or pencils. Give children a few moments to color. Then say: Today’s Gospel tells us what happened when Jesus called Simon Peter to be his disciple. Simon Peter was a fisherman. Listen carefully as I read.
  2. Read today’s Gospel, Luke 5:1–11.
  3. Say: Simon Peter hadn't caught any fish. But he trusted Jesus. He followed Jesus’ command to lower the nets into the water. Ask: What happened next? (The fishermen caught so many fish that the nets tore.) Say: Jesus told Simon Peter he would be a different type of fisherman. Ask: What did Jesus say Simon Peter would be catching instead of fish? (men/people.) Say: Jesus was calling Simon Peter to help him bring people to God. Ask: Did Simon Peter follow Jesus? (Yes.)
  4. Say: Jesus calls us to follow him too. One way that we follow Jesus is by telling others about him. Ask: Who is someone in your family that you might tell about Jesus and Simon Peter? (Encourage children to think of someone who would like to hear the story.) Say: You might show that person your fish as you tell the story. Keep the fish to remind you that Jesus calls you to follow him, just as he called Simon Peter.
  5. Close by praying, “Jesus, we are your disciples. We will follow you.”  Pray together the Lord’s Prayer.

Grades 4-6


Gospel Reading
Luke 5:1-11
The fishermen (Simon, James, and John) leave their fishing boats and follow Jesus.


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

At Baptism, even as infants, we were given a share in the mission of the Church: to lead others to Jesus. We can invite children to begin to reflect on this mission and to participate in appropriate ways.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Invite the children to think about people they like to be with. Ask: What are some of the qualities of these people? Write this list on the board. (kind, generous, interesting, and so on)

  2. Ask: How do people who have these qualities influence us? Is it a positive influence?

  3. Say: In today's Gospel, we hear Jesus call Simon Peter to be a leader among the disciples. He gives him a special job. Let's listen carefully to this Gospel.

  4. Invite one or more volunteers to read today's Gospel, Luke 5:1-11.

  5. Ask: What evidence is there that Simon Peter was a leader even before Jesus chose him to be a leader among the disciples? (Jesus chose his boat to teach from, he spoke for all the fishermen, and the other fisherman responded to his directions.) To whom was Jesus speaking when he spoke about “catching men?” (Simon Peter) Is Simon Peter the only one who followed Jesus? (No. Simon Peter's partners, James and John, and all the fishermen put aside their nets and followed Jesus.) What does Jesus say will be Simon Peter's new job? (Jesus told him that he would now catch people.) Already we see Simon Peter doing this: Jesus called Simon Peter, and all the fishermen chose to become Jesus' followers as well.

  6. Say: Simon Peter was a leader, a person of influence among his friends. Jesus chose him to be a leader among the disciples. We know that he continued to be a leader in the early Christian community. His influence led many people to become followers of Jesus.

  7. Ask: In what ways can we have a positive influence on others? (through kindness, by setting an example, by showing care, etc.) Our job as disciples of Jesus is to influence others in positive ways and to lead them to Jesus.

  8. Conclude in prayer together that we will be an example to others and will lead them to choose to be disciples of Jesus. Pray together the Prayer for Christlikeness.

Grades 7-8


Gospel Reading
Luke 5:1-11
The fishermen (Simon, James, and John) leave their fishing boats and follow Jesus.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Young people can recognize that others have power to influence their behavior, for good or for ill. We can invite them to judge when they are being influenced in positive ways and to choose ways to be a positive influence on others.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Invite the young people to consider people of influence in their school. Ask: Who are the students who are leaders in your school community? How did these students get to be leaders? What leadership skills do they demonstrate? Are they positive leaders? In what ways?

  2. Say: There are many ways in which we identify leaders in our communities. In our democratic society, we choose many of our leaders by elections. But there are other people who are leaders not because of elections, but because of their personality and influence. In today's Gospel we hear about how Peter was chosen by Jesus to be a leader among the disciples.

  3. Invite one or more volunteers to read today's Gospel, Luke 5:1-11.

  4. Ask: What evidence is there that Simon Peter was a leader even before he chose to follow Jesus? (Jesus chose Peter's boat to teach from; Peter spoke for all the fishermen; the other fishermen did what Peter told them.) To whom was Jesus speaking when he spoke about “catching men?” (Simon Peter) Is Simon Peter the only one who followed Jesus? (No. Simon Peter's partners, James and John, and all the fishermen put aside their nets and followed Jesus.) What does Jesus say will be Simon Peter's new job? (Jesus told him that he would now catch people.) Already we see Simon Peter doing this: Jesus called Simon Peter, and yet all the fishermen chose to become Jesus' followers as well.

  5. Say: Simon Peter was a leader, a person of influence among his peers. The Gospels describe Simon Peter as an important leader among Jesus' disciples. We know that he continued to be a leader in the early Christian community. We continue to speak of Peter's leadership and influence today when we call the pope the successor of Peter.

  6. Ask: Who are the people who have a positive influence on our lives? How can we be a positive influence on others? (Accept all reasonable answers.) Our mission as disciples of Jesus is to influence others in positive ways and to lead them to Jesus, as Simon Peter did.

  7. Conclude in prayer together that we will be examples to others and will lead them to choose to be disciples of Jesus. Pray together the Prayer for Christlikeness.

Family


Gospel Reading
Luke 5:1-11
The fishermen (Simon, James, and John) leave their fishing boats and follow Jesus.


Family Connection

In the people whom Jesus chose to be his closest friends—his disciples—we see many of the characteristic foibles of ordinary human beings. We also see the ways that God uses the gifts he gave us to transform us into new people, the agents through whom God will lead others to Jesus and to his kingdom. Let's consider the person Jesus chose to be a leader among the disciples and whom he sent to “catch people.” Based on the evidence found in Scripture, we can imagine what Peter must have been like:

• Peter seems unafraid to speak his mind, yet he is also able to take direction. In today's Gospel, Simon Peter lowers his nets as Jesus commands, but not before reminding Jesus that he and his partners have been fishing all night and haven't caught anything.

• Peter is a leader, a spokesperson for others. Today's Gospel suggests that Simon Peter was a leader in his fishing business. When Simon Peter chooses to follow Jesus, others become Jesus' disciple as well.

• Peter's personality and charisma seem to make him the center of attention; yet Peter learned to be transparent, to let others see Jesus through him.

• Peter possesses a dynamic and open relationship with Jesus. Peter often approaches Jesus and speaks what is in his heart.

Gather as a family and spend some time imagining the person of Simon Peter. Encourage family members to tell details about Simon Peter that they recall from Scripture. Consider these questions: Is Peter someone you would like to be friends with? Why or why not? Do you consider Peter a good leader? Why or why not? Read aloud today's Gospel, Luke 5:1-11. Jesus chose Simon Peter to be the leader of the disciples. Peter continued to be a leader in the early Christian community; we continue to speak of Peter's leadership when we call the pope the successor of Peter. Discuss the role of the papacy and of other leaders in the Church. In what ways do we participate in the mission of the Church by leading people to Christ (“catching people”)? Pray for those who lead the Church. Pray together the Prayer to St. Joseph, the Protector of the Church.