Homily for Thursday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: FROM THE LEVEL OF CATCHING FISH TO CATCHING SOULS!
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
Homily for Thursday September 3 2020
*1 Cor 3 : 18 – 23, Lk 5 : 1-11. Everything is significant in today’s gospel. Everything in it makes so much meaning to me:
1st, as the people press around Jesus to hear the Word of God he goes into Peter’s boat (and uses it as his pulpit) and when he had finished handling the spiritual needs of his audience, he goes over to the physical. This is usually the divine formula.
*Statement 1a : ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch!’. The is the Word of Promise. *Statement 1b : ‘Master, we have worked hard all night and caught nothing but if you say so, I will let down the net!’ Yeah! And that is what makes Peter our New Testament ancestor of faith (following our Blessed mother Mary). This is the Word of response of faith!
*Statement 2a : (After the miraculous catch) ‘Leave me Lord, I am a sinful man!.’ This is the Word of Confession!
*Statement 2b : ‘Henceforth, you will be catching men!’ This is the Word of empowerment/ great commissioning!
The great problem of modern day Christianity is that we want to remain at the level of catching fish when Christ wants us to be catching men. He gives us the Word of God solely for this purpose : that we may experience him and want to share this experience with others. While an average Muslim can kill himself and kill many others just to catch men for God, an average Christian can kill /hurt others just to catch fish for himself alone. As soon as Peter realized that he was in the presence of God, he became suddenly aware of his sinfulness. Christ takes advantage of his submissive disposition to take him to another level of discipleship.
The reward of hearing the Word of God and following the divine wisdom is complete prosperity not partial. Today’s 1st reading says that ‘All things become yours when you are Christ’s because Christ is God’s’. As Jesus after preaching from the boat of Peter took him to another level , may he do the same for you after preaching from your own boat, from your own home, from your own mouth. When Jesus gets involved in our labour, we can never toil in vain. He takes us from Esau’s destiny to Jacob’s blessing; from almost to utmost; from Bethel to Jordan!
When he tells us to let down our nets and we obey, the difference will be clear because obedience to Christ must turn our failures into success. Failure must never be our last word because the Lord is stronger than our failures. It can only come as a process which Christ can convert at any point in time to success. But the ultimate goal of Christ is to make us go beyond the level of catching fish to the level of catching souls. May God bless you today!