Thursday, 1 September 2016 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the theme of today’s Scripture readings tie in very nicely with the special event we are currently celebrating on this same day, that is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, during which we offer our solemn prayers together as the whole Church, that we as the stewards whom God had entrusted with the care of this world, may exercise our responsibilities and duties with genuine commitment and effort for the maintenance and the care for this world.

And we have to remember, lest we be distracted by what this world thinks about the environment, we as Christians have duties to take care of the living and the non-living world, caring for all the wonderful animals and plants, all the creatures that God had created to be in this world with us. We are the stewards of all the things God had created, and as such, we have that very great responsibility to care for what God had made with His hands.

But that does not mean that we focus our attention so much on those things living around us, the animals, plants and the environment, that we forget our most important mission and responsibility, that is to care for one another, for our fellow men alike. After all, God had appointed us to lead and guide one another on our way to reach out to Him, that we may receive the salvation and life promised to us by our loving God.

The Gospel today spoke of the moment when Jesus was calling His first disciples, the ones whom He had chosen to be His Apostles. And He called them from various places, and not the least of which was from the shores of lake Galilee, from simple fishermen paddling their daily lives and livelihoods catching fishes from the lake to be sold at the market.

These fishermen were simple men, uneducated and without great intelligence, power or influence. They were mere ordinary people of their time, without special talents and skills, without experience in governance and privilege, without much wealth and possessions, and yet, God chose them to be His principal agents and workers to spread His salvation and light to the nations.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, what Jesus spoke today is what He expected from us to do, as His disciples and all those who follow Him. We are made to be the fishers of men, as what Jesus called those simple fishermen for, that they would no longer catch the fishes of the lake and the sea, but instead, spread their nets and catch for the Lord, the whole race of mankind, people of various kinds and from various origins, that they may be found by the Lord their God.

And that is the task entrusted to the Church by our God, and therefore becomes our mission and duty as well. And therefore, we are not just the stewards of creation, but also caretaker for one another as well, especially with regards to guarding our brethren against falling into corruption and sin, and liberating them from the darkness and bringing them into the light.

We have to be responsible with our words, actions and deeds, that they will not be misunderstood or even worse, mislead our brethren into the darkness instead of the light. We have to be responsible in our actions towards one another, towards other living creatures of God, that we show care, concern and the effort to preserve and make beautiful what God had created in His wonders.

Let us all therefore today renew our commitment to God, and seek to do our best in order to commit ourselves to the Lord and His ways. Let us learn to be more like Him in all of our ways and in all that we do, so that in everything that we do, we will proclaim Him to the whole world, for all others to see, that they too may believe and thus by believing, we all together will be brought to the eternal inheritance and life God promised us. God bless us all. Amen.

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