THEME: WHEN GOD IS INVOLVED
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
HOMILY FOR THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 1 2022
‘Because you say so, I will.’
The Gospel passage of today (Luke 5:1-11), reveals some truth about how God works when we demonstrate appropriate faith.
It should be noted before anything else that Jesus wasn’t a fisherman. He was the son of a carpenter. Perhaps, that was what He learnt also. But the men He encountered and gave instructions in this passage were professional fishermen. They had mastered their job and understood their business terrain. They were not novices. But look at this: ‘When He [Jesus] had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will”…When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break…Then Jesus said…“Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they…left everything and followed him’ (vv. 4-11).
This story shows us four ways that God can work: 1) Success is not really about how hard you work. Working harder isn’t necessarily the answer. The disciples ‘toiled all night’. Nobody could have questioned their work ethic. We need to work hard but even more we must have God involved in what we do. If God doesn’t build the house, all those who labour, do so in vain. For cut off from Jesus we can do absolutely nothing. No matter our expertise, we can always be defeated and frustrated if God is excluded.
2) He uses ordinary situations to do extraordinary things. While the disciples were in their normal workplace, Jesus showed up, called them, and changed their lives. So we need to be looking for God’s surprises in our ordinary daily routines. He meets us where we are, in what we think is mundane, and creates something amazing.
3). We need to obey God even when we don’t understand His plan. Peter, a seasoned fisherman, had to set aside his pride and say, ‘if you say so, I will…’ We need to understand the difference between what God is saying and what man is saying. The result, positive or negative, comes from who is giving the command. It is not about how we feel but what God is saying. This makes the difference. We should stop looking for man’s approval and focus on what God is saying about our life and situation. 2 Kings chapter 5, Naaman had to humble himself and bathe in the Jordan in order to be healed of leprosy because God said so in spite of the better water he could have in Syria.
4) He encourages us to stretch our faith. He called the disciples to something bigger than fishing; He called them to help in His mission to save people. And that was a pretty big call. When God tells us to do something that really stretches our faith to its limit, we have a choice. We can give in to doubt, or say, like Peter, ‘Because You say so, I will.’
5. He blesses and compensates us for whatever we give Him. Jesus used their boat and they never resisted. With the frustration from all night fruitless labour, they could have denied Him the use of their boat. They allowed Him to use it and He changed their story for the day. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world, bless and protect us all through Christ our Lord Amen.
Fr. Karabari Paul