Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time | February 6, 2022
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
~ Luke 5:5
Brothers and Sisters,
What does God want from us? At the risk of offering an overly complicated answer that will miss the bottom line: everything. God wants it all. We may presume our Creator’s intention as selfish, relating God’s desire for all we have. From our inclinations to accumulated possessions, wealth, power, and influence. But God really doesn’t want any of that. No, God wants to free us from the things that prevent us from living in freedom as one of God’s children.
Jesus approaches the Sea of Galilee and boards Simon Peter’s boat in the Gospel. Putting off a bit from the shore, Jesus teaches the crowds. Afterward, he commands an exhausted Simon Peter, discouraged after a long night spent on the water without a catch, to go out further and drop his fishing nets again. We’ve all heard the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But after hearing Jesus teach, Peter is willing to act foolishly and listen to Jesus.
We must follow Peter’s lead! Listening to God’s Word is essential to become faithful disciples of Jesus. Accepting the authority of Jesus means that we stop measuring success by society’s criteria. As Christians, we are not seeking economic wealth, increased power, or more possessions. We seek faith with complete trust in God’s plan. When we are tired or disheartened, look for pause and find the space where Christ will speak his words of instruction and encouragement. And when we falter due to sinfulness or the pressures of the world, try again. Jesus will help us as we strive to remain his faithful disciples.
After listening to Jesus, Peter not only catches “a great number of fish” but enough to require some extra help from his fellow nearby fisherman — a miracle!
As a follower of Jesus, Simon Peter would witness many more miracles, from Jesus healing the sick, forgiving sins alleviating burdens, and restoring the marginalized. Let us continue the path of discipleship ( our OLPH Disipleshippathway is a great way to stay on track – https://olphparish.org/the-path), even where we have not yet witnessed the fruits of our labors.
This week, we remembered the bishop and martyr, St. Blaise, an early Christian from the 3rd or 4th Century. Thought to be a physician before becoming a bishop, St. Blaise was associated with many miraculous healings. To this day, his intercession is sought for diseases and ailments, particularly those of the throat. May the Lord, through the intercession of St. Blaise, bring lasting healing to our world and alleviate the sufferings of those inflicted with any disease or illness!
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett