Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Do you have enough? Many of us come from a nation of material abundance. We have all the things we could possibly need not only to survive, but to thrive - food, shelter, mental ability, income, access to medical care. Most people in human history lived with far less than we. So why are we so dissatisfied? Some Christians can be drawn to the "prosperity Gospel." This is the idea that following God will bring us material abundance in this life. That surely seems to be the story of today's Gospel! Peter and his friends chose - with some faith - to put out their nets a final time at Jesus' command. "They caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking." What gift! What abundance! What prosperity! Peter and his friends caught more fish than they'd ever seen. Yet what is their response to this material abundance, this gift from God? They leave it behind. "When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him." Praying for God to meet our physical, material needs is not a bad thing! Jesus himself includes "give us this day our daily bread" in the prayer he teaches his disciples. The question is, how do we respond when our prayers are answered? Do we thank God briefly, or perhaps ignore Him completely and move on with our lives? Or do we respond as Peter did? "God ? You showed up in an area that has no bearing on my eternal salvation. You gave me a gift I didn't even really need. You love me! You really do love me." Is our gratitude only surface level? Or do we allow ourselves, like Peter did, to respond with wonder, awe, and deeper discipleship? @ 2018 Liturgical Publications

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