Homily for Thursday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Any toil or effort without Jesus yields nothing.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Thursday September 5 2019
READINGS: Colossians 1: 9-14, Ps. 98, Luke 5: 1-11
Human beings are what they are in connection with the Trinity that they are made of. Man would not be really man made by God when he is not connected and linked with the Divine. So for him to operate successfully and meaningfully he must remain relevant in God. This is why the book of the Psalm said that in vain does the watchman keep vigil if the Lord does not watch over the city and if the Lord does not build the house in vain does the builder labour.
This truth played out in the scenario of today’s gospel when Simon Peter in his professional expertise and experience went to the sea to fish and laboured the whole day but caught nothing. Peter relied on his experience and technical know-how and applied all that and yet it did not work out well for him that day. He wound up and tied his net and accepted failure and was ready to go home. As he was doing this, he may not have known that he was at the wrong place and exerting his energy at the wrong profession or vocation. He may not also have recognised or become convinced that he needed God’s intervention and help to achieve excellence. Keeping Jesus aside led to his failure all through the day in useless and unfruitful toil. It may have been the patience and respect of Peter to Jesus that set the stage for miraculous catch of the fish. Peter ordinarily should have been angry at his day’s unfortunate predicament and perhaps transferred aggression to anyone who gets across his way. Jesus should have fall the victim of his disappointment and received the insult and inhuman treatment of aggression. When Jesus asked him to put out a little from the land, Simon Peter obliged and allowed him in good fate. He was patient with Jesus and considerate in his charitable heart. This may have prepared the ground for the merciful gift of God to Peter as a fisher of men and no more of fish. He has passed the test of a true Apostle; one who can be patient even when things go wrong and considerate of others and can charitably allow people have their way. He may have relaxed to listen to Jesus speak to the people and may have listened attentively with conviction the message of Christ. Jesus obviously discovered that the word of life has found a dwelling place in his heart and then repaid him with the miraculous catch. Jesus asked him to pay out his net for a catch. Peter was truthful and presented his sad predicament to Jesus saying: “Master we toiled all night and took nothing” Beloved, Peter showed a child-like trust and faith in Jesus and responded to Jesus’ command: “Put out into the deep and let down your net for a catch” He did it because he had to obey the Lord’s command: But at your word I will let down the net. This patience and obedience to Christ led to the huge catch of fish that their nets began to tear. We would always get more than what we need in life when we obey Jesus and follow his commands.
Beloved, any venture we enter into without the approval of God or without giving God a chance to direct and enter into is destined to failure. Every labour, effort and toil of man would lead to emptiness and pain and would lead to nothing when God is not give pre-eminence. There can be no success unless Jesus is given his rightful place in our lives. This is applicable to when we enter into wrong vocation or profession we labour for nothing without achievement. In our painful disappointing predicaments, patience and respect for others is necessary and obedience to the voice of God is essential. Anger and aggression can cause our doom.
We pray today in the voice of Paul to the Colossians: May the Lord fill us with the knowledge of his will in a spiritual wisdom and understanding to lead a life worthy of the Lord. We pray that we may be filled with all power according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf