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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Sunday of the 5th Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

February 10, 2019

Sunday of the 5th Week in the Ordinary Time

 

Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8 ;

 Psalm 138:1-5, 7-8;

1 Corinthians 15:1-11 or 15:3-8, 11;

Gospel LK 5:1-11


While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listeningto the word of God,he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.He saw two boats there alongside the lake;the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."Simon said in reply,"Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,but at your command I will lower the nets."When they had done this, they caught a great number of fishand their nets were tearing.They signaled to their partners in the other boatto come to help them. They came and filled both boatsso that the boats were in danger of sinking.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 himand all those with him,and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,who were partners of Simon.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.


 Mission Reminded

 

The Abbot of a monastery of monks received a letter from another monastery of distant place. It was a request. They had requested for a monk to be sent as the monk who was performing the prayers in that monastery is dead and there is no one else who is learned enough to perform the prayers in the community. After much deliberation, the Abbot sent one of their monks with this mission. After few days he sent another one too. And again a third one was sent after some days. Other monks in the monastery asked the Abbot, “Why have you sent three as the request was only for one?” The Abbot gave only a smile in answer. Few months later they came to know to their surprise that only one has reached the monastery to fulfil the mission. The first one had met a ruler of a village on the way. The ruler offered him a hefty amount if he assists him in administration with his knowledge. Therefore the first monk got lost in amassing wealth. The second one on his way had seen a bereaved family of a young wife with children desperate on the death of her husband. The second one decided to take care of the sorrowful family instead of proceeding to the monastery. In short, even though there were three who were sent, only one remembered his mission in life and fulfilled it.


Today’s readings are a ‘mission-reminder’ for all of us. They remind us that we all are here with a mission. No one in the Catholic Church has any exception. Every one shoulder this ‘mission’ when one receives the Baptism.


The ‘all-binding’ nature of ‘mission’ is brought to us by the first reading. In it we see how the Prophet Isaiah is sent with a mission. In the beginning, he was reluctant to take up the mission as he himself had realisation of his unworthiness (Isa 6:5). God the Almighty purifies him from his impurities by touching his lips with a burning charcoal fire. In today’s Church, we have, in the place of fire, water in Baptism through which we have received the mission from God, our Father. Both the fire and water are the symbolism of Holy Spirit in the Sacred Scripture. Anyone who receives the Baptism is freed of all infirmities and unworthiness one may have to take up this mission. Everyone who has received Baptism is with a mission on this earth.


Two ways: But we forget this fact often. So God has got two different ways to remind us of our mission.


Sufferings: Very often God reminds us of our mission by allowing us to have sufferings in our life. In his First Letter to Corinthians, Paul speaks of all people who had received the missionary command from Jesus starting with the Apostles. Paul considers himself as the ‘last and least’ because he had persecuted the Church. Paul is referring to the conversion he had on his way to Damascus. He had a fall and had to live being blind for days and months. Later he had to spend years in the scorching heat of the desert of Arabia. Through these sufferings God reminded him of his ‘mission’ that he had forgotten in pursuit of name and fame in life. Whenever we too are overcome by the greed of name, fame, comforts, success and so on, God may give us sufferings to remind us that we are here on this earth with a mission.


Happiness: In the Gospel reading, St. Luke explains the call of the first disciples. They were fishermen. On a particular day they got nothing in their net.  But Jesus, the Son of God miraculously gave them plenty of fish to the extent that they had to call others to draw the net, and net was about to tear as there was plenty. Amidst this happiness, Jesus reminds them of their mission. They followed him to fulfil their mission leaving the fish they had caught. The joys and happiness that comes in our life are, in fact, reminders from our God that we have a mission in this world to fulfil.


Year of Faith and New Evangelisation:  In this ‘Year of Faith’, the Pope Benedict has spoken about our responsibility for ‘New-Evangelisation’. In his Apostolic Exhortation ‘Porta Fidei’, he stresses the fact that this mission of New Evangelisation is on all the faithful in the Catholic Church.


Conclusion:   Whenever there are sufferings in our life, let us not be dejected by them. Like St. Paul, accept them as the ‘Mission Reminders’ from God to remind ourselves the mission of preaching the Good News. In order to do that, we must look up as St. Paul did when he had fallen on the ground. If we look down in to our own self alone, we will fail to see the hands of God extending to us from the above. In the same way, whenever we have joys and happiness in our life, never let them rule our life. If we identify our life with these joys and happiness, then we will consider ourselves failures when these joys and happiness end. Peter had the courage to look beyond the heap of fish where he could see Son of God standing. Let us look beyond our happiness to hear the missionary command of Jesus “Come, I will send you…”


We are with a mission on this earth. We all are missionaries. The sufferings and joys in the life are only reminders of it. Let us leave our boats and fish (the comfort zone) so that the New Evangelisation may happen through us.


Fr. Johnson Bezalel CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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