Homily for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C (1)










Homily for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Theme: I trusted him…

By Fr. Anthony O. EZEAPUTA, MA.

Homily for Sunday February 6 2022

 

The call of the first disciples of Jesus: Simon Peter, James, and John, took place in the context of their day-to-day fishing (Lk 5:1 -11). Simon Peter showed an exceptional trust in the Word of God made incarnate. These apostles challenge us to ask ourselves these questions: Do we absolutely trust the Word of the Lord? Do we allow ourselves to become discouraged by our failures and disappointments?

When we consider that these apostles have worked all night and caught nothing and were only washing and arranging their nets when Jesus encountered them, we will appreciate the act of trust that they made. Notwithstanding their failures and disappointment, when Jesus asked Simon Peter to put out a little from the shore for him to preach the Word of God to the crowd of people who had gathered, he obeyed. And when Jesus finished speaking, he told him, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch” (Lk 5:5).

Simon Peter reacted to Jesus’s request like most of us would react in such a situation. “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!” Remarkably, he transcended their failures and disappointments. He added, “But at your word I will let down the nets” (Lk 5:5). Simon Peter’s words and action show that he has no trust issues.

Trust in God and in our neighbor does not mean that everything will be rosy. It does not mean that there will not be challenges, obstacles, disappointment, and failures. On the contrary, it means “trying again,” “never giving up,” and “hoping for the best” irrespective of all that we have been through.

Moreover, trust is the bedrock of any successful relationship both with God and our neighbor. To trust is to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of something. To trust God means believing in his reliability, his Word, his ability, and his strength. God cannot lie. He always keeps His promises. He loves you and has good in store for you (Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Hebrews 6:18).

Interpersonal trust is the perception that we have that someone has our best interests at heart. We trust our parents, siblings, friends, spouse, employers, colleagues, country, even the Church, because we believe that they have our best interests at heart. However, when trust is found wanting divine and human relationships may become unstable. This could lead to fear and the unwillingness to trust God and others.

There was a man with some medical conditions that would prevent him from having children. He hid his condition from his fiancée whom he claimed to love so much and wants to marry. When they went for the required medical exams before marriage, he went as far as bribing the hospital to falsify his medical results, and they got married. However, at the end, she discovered that he knew his medical conditions but decided not to reveal them to her. Their marriage was annulled. But she refused to trust any man in the future.

There are so many stories of those who have what I may call “valid and legitimate” reasons not to want to trust again. Perhaps, they have been hurt by the people and institutions who they have trusted the most. The bottom line is that trust issues are something that everyone deals with.

There was a young man who was unjustly dismissed from the seminary. He was so mad with the Catholic Church that he threatened to become a protestant pastor. Luckily for him, he had a holy and experienced spiritual director who understood him and allowed him to pour out his pains and frustrations. His spiritual director encouraged him to discern the priesthood with another diocese, but he refused because he could not trust the Church not to talk of the seminary formation team.

After so many years of journeying with his spiritual director and rejecting various opportunities to discern with other dioceses, he decided to discern the religious life. He ended up being a holy priest, a compassionate novice master, and later on, a trustworthy bishop. Why? His dismissal from the seminary didn’t destroy him but made him a wounded healer.

Trusting God doesn’t make difficulties vanish, but it causes us to experience the faithfulness of God and makes us wounded healers. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). In fact, trust works miracles.

I apologize to all those who have been hurt by the people and institutions that they trusted so much. I am really sorry for your past bad experience. I also ask that you forgive. Please, forgive. It is my wish that you may learn from Simon Peter today.

Simon Peter and his colleagues were professional fishermen. It means that they knew the best time during the day and night for fishing. Hence, Simon responds, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets” (Lk 5:5). His faith and trust in the Word of God did not disappoint. Indeed, their nets filled with so many fish that they nearly broke.

Today, Jesus addresses to all of us the same words he addressed to his first disciples, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” (Lk 5:5). Our Lord wants us to go beyond our fears, past hurts, and failures, that have made it difficult for us to trust God and trust our neighbors. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Psalm 95:7-8). May Our Lady of the Perpetual Help, pray for us.




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