Thursday, 2 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scripture, all of us are called to live our lives in an exemplary Christian way, and to be worthy of God by following the path that He Himself has shown us. And we are also called to reach out to our fellow brothers and sisters, and be part of the Church’s evangelising mission, in calling more and more people to believe in the Lord and His truth, of which the best way is by our living our lives worthily, as true and genuine Christians.

In our first reading today, we heard the words of St. Paul the Apostle as he exhorted the faithful to to lead a lifestyle and to act in accordance with the way of the Lord, that they do not fall into temptations and remain faithful in all things, and to persevere through the difficulties and the challenges that we may face through life. We must be careful and wary lest those difficulties and challenges deter us from doing what we can and should do as Christians, in showing our faith and love for God and our fellow men alike.

In our Gospel passage today, we then heard of the moment when the Lord called some of His Twelve Apostles, as He was at the Lake Gennesaret or the Lake of Galilee, in which the four fishermen had been spending long hours the previous night in order to catch fish without any success. As the Lord saw those fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, and the brothers James and John, He told them to try and reach out for fishes again, despite their fruitless search over the past night.

He told them all to ‘put out into the deep waters’ and lower their nets there. Although they were skeptical at first and told the Lord that they had not found anything despite all night efforts, they obeyed in the end, and immediately, there were so many fishes trapped in the nets that it almost made the fishing boats to sink under their weight. Those four fishermen, amazed by what they had witnessed, believed in the Lord, chose to abandon their fishing trade and followed Him, becoming the first of the Lord’s disciples.

What we have just heard in our Scripture passage today is actually a symbolic representation of what each and every one of us are called to do as Christians, that is to listen to the Lord and to obey His will, by allowing Him to lead us and to help guide us in what we should do, just as He has told the fishermen, the future four disciples and Apostles to reach out and put their nets our into the deep waters. We have to do what the Lord has asked us to do, and trust in Him in the path that He is leading us through.

It is often that we are not able to gain true success in what we are doing, simply because we trust more in our own strength and powers rather than to listen to the Lord. We do things in our own way, and some of us are stubborn even after the Lord has shown us advice and guidance. Instead, we should be like the Apostles who listened to the Lord even though they had reservations and doubts earlier on. They chose to follow the Lord, and they saw the benefit in doing so.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, at the same time we are all also reminded that we should not be afraid to reach out beyond our comfort zone, which is when the Lord mentioned ‘to go and put out in the deep waters’. Too often many of us are hesitant to follow the Lord because we are afraid of the risks and we are more concerned about our safety and needs. And this is also because we did not have enough trust and faith in the Lord. If only we can trust in the Lord more, then surely we can even do many things we might have think to be impossible.

The question is, are we all willing to commit ourselves to the Lord wholeheartedly? Are we willing to entrust ourselves to His care and providence, and are we capable of walking down this path that the Lord has shown us with faith? Each and every one of us have been entrusted by the Lord with specific mission and responsibility in life, and as St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle in our first reading today, all of us are called to lead a life that is worthy of God, to be faithful and committed to Him, and to be exemplary in all things.

May the Lord continue to bless us and guide us in all things, and may He strengthen each and every one of us so that we may always persevere in faith, and will not easily give in to worldly temptations. May He remain with us all and may He bless us all in our every good efforts and endeavours, at all times, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

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