YEAR C: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
THEME: CAST INTO THE DEEP
BY: Fr. Johnbosco Obika
HOMILY: (Reflecting on the readings of 5th Sunday Yr. C.)
📖 Is. 6:1-2a
📖 1st Cor.15:1-11
📖 Like 5:1-11
Those who are truly great in the sight of God are those who recognize their nothingness, weakness and emptiness and live by the word of God. Flipping through the pages of the bible we find men and women who recognized their nothingness and heeded the word of God. God used them to accomplish great missions on earth. Today’s readings present us with three of such people: Isaiah, Paul and Peter.
In today’s first reading, Isaiah’s condition is a hopeless one. There was a political predicament in his time. Israel was divided into Northern and Southern kingdom coupled with the conquest by the Assyrians and the Babylonian deportation. The spiritual life of Israel faced great deterioration because they abandoned God and religion became mere rituals and formalities. In this condition, it would be a very difficult task to be a mouth piece of God to a people were facing spiritual drought and physical exhaustion. Isaiah himself confessed his unworthiness, “a man of unclean lips…living with people of unclean lips”. However, in spite of his bleak condition, God chose and purified him for an important errand of bringing Israel back to him. This tells us that even the weakest instrument becomes the strongest in the hands of God.
In the 2nd reading, St. Paul was a great persecutor of Christians who by reckoning be called the least of Christians. The tells us the story of God’s grace in his life. By the grace of God, he was still an apostle of Christ. He achieved so much for God. Human effort is nothing without the grace of God.
Peter was a fisherman. It wasn’t a hobby for peter to go out every day casting the net into the deep sea to fish. No, it was rather an obligation, a means of livelihood because many depended on him for survival. Today in the gospel we find Peter’s heart heavy with disappointment and despair because he had toiled all night catching nothing. His thoughts went back to the family and all who hanged their hope on him. But the moment he encountered Jesus, his story and his name changed from fisherman to fisher of men. Peter’s weakness was so glaring after the miraculous catch that he had to voice it out, “I’m a sinful man”. He started living above daily bread because of the new horizon Jesus opened in his life.
Life often takes us to situations we find difficult to understand. Times like this bare our incapacitations and weaknesses. When such situations come, recognize your limitations and count not on your own power. Listen to the voice of God. He may be asking you do certain things that lack easy explanation.
Recognize the power of His Word, trust and obey. Peter said to Jesus, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets”. Peter was a professional. He had good experience in the art of fishing. Ordinarily, fishing is best done at night. Fishing during the day is a very difficult venture. But Peter was asked by Jesus to let down the nets because his word has more impact than Peter’s knowledge and experience.
Our situation is often similar to Peter’s. Sometimes you are over qualified to be employed based on your intimidating credentials yet you are unemployed. Sometimes you have been in the field for years and know the ‘dos’ and ’don’ts’. You know you cannot go further because it won’t be possible. Experience tells you, “You can’t make it”, but Jesus says, “Cast into the deep”. Faith has depth. The profundity of faith is greater than human experience and credentials.