Homily (Reflection) for the Fifth Sunday of the Year (C) (7th February, 2016) on the Gospel

Is 6:1-8;
Ps 137:1-5.7-8. (R.v.1);
1Cor 15:1-11 or 1Cor 15:3-8.11;
Lk 5:1-11.

A middle-aged woman after bathing her son, junior, was still keeping the bathroom in order when he left for his room. She later went into his room to dress him but the little boy was already on it. And immediately he saw his mother he asked her if she had forgotten that it was not right to enter someone’s room while the person is dressing. Although she was shocked yet without argument or insistence she apologised and left the room. Not quite long junior cried for help. The woman ran into his room and saw him on the floor with his two legs in one part of the trouser. She quickly helped him and was still trying to help him finish the rest when the boy again asked her the same question he asked before.

Topic: Allow Jesus to step in.
Summary of today’s gospel: Jesus taught the crowd while sitting in a boat because they were pressing in on Him to hear the word of God. After teaching He said to Peter the owner of the boat, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch”. Peter replied, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” Their simple obedience led to the catching of many fish that their nets were beginning to break. When Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ feet and pleaded, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” And they left everything and followed Him.

Reflection: Peter by profession was a fisherman before he was called, cf. Matt 4:18; Mk 1:16. On the other hand Jesus took after Joseph the carpenter, cf. Mk 6:3. And in today’s gospel Peter with all his expertise could not catch even as little as a fish after all night fishing. Just imagine his state of mind.

It was at this point that Jesus came and entered Peter’s boat and asked him to push it out from the shore. We must remember that the boat in question was Peter’s source of livelihood. Yet in obedience he did as requested. And again after His teaching Jesus the carpenter who most probably could not move a boat asked Peter after all night long fishing without success to put out into the deep water and let down his nets for a catch.

Although Peter did not hide their ordeal yet without any form of resistance he did as instructed as expressed in these words, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets” (Lk 5:5). The quantity of fish they caught helped Peter to see how helpless one is without Jesus. His reaction can be likened to that of Isaiah who exclaimed, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Is 6:5). Peter pleaded with Jesus to leave. Jesus calmed them down and ultimately transformed them into fishers of men, cf. Matt 4:19; Mk 1:17.

God desires our complete obedience in every situation more than any other thing, cf. 1Sam 15:22. He has promised to bless and to multiply all those who will obey, cf. Deut 30:16; Zech 6:15. Whereas disobedience to Him only brings the wrath of God, cf. 1Sam 15:26; 28:18; Jn 3:36.

The little boy who thought he could do it without his mother ran into difficulties. And whenever he allowed his mother to come in things go as they should. Similarly, Peter and his colleagues who also thought they had all it takes to be fishermen could not get as little as a fish until Jesus stepped in. In the same vein, whoever wants the best of every situation must be wise enough to welcome Jesus. Nobody can truly succeed without Jesus. He is the Master of every situation, Prov 3:5; Is 26:4. And whoever allows Him to come in will surly see the best in all he or she does, cf. Ps 125:1.

Bible Reading: Is 6:1-13; Ps 121:1-8; 125:1-5; Jn 15:1-16.

Thought for today: Jesus is my Master. What about you?

Let us pray: Lord, help us to obey you always especially in the areas we think we are good in – Amen.

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