Thursday, 1 September 2022 : 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, today we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are all called to keep in mind that we should trust in the Lord’s wisdom and allow Him to guide us in our path and journey throughout life. We should not do things in the way that the world often told us to do, or to trust in the wisdom of the world because as Christians, many of the things we learnt through the truth and wisdom of God show us that what the world considers as folly and stupid, irrational or strange, is actually the best path, as God knows all things while we mankind, even in our best intellect and wisdom knew only a part of all things.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Corinth, continuing from the discourse earlier this week, we heard of the Apostle mentioning how what is wise in the sight of the world is considered as foolish in the eyes of God. This, together with the reference that was made regarding the leaders of the faithful and evangelisers like St. Paul himself, Apollos, a popular Jewish Christian convert and preacher, Cephas, that is St. Peter, the leader of the Apostles and the Vicar of Christ, among others, all these were meant to remind the faithful in Corinth that they must keep their focus in the Lord and not in their own selfishness and divided nature.

For back then, there had been a rather bitter division amongst the members of the Church and the faithful people of God, as some of the faithful sided with St. Paul while others were siding with Apollos, having differences in their thoughts and preferences. While that would have been natural in any organisation and in our Church even today, but from what St. Paul had elaborated and shared in his Epistle to the Corinthians showed us that the divisions that happened among the faithful seemed to be rather bitter, where that led to the break in the unity of the Church of God, the Body of Christ.

That was why St. Paul appealed to the people of God in Corinth, to stay away from the temptations of their pride and ego, and to be willing to listen to God’s wisdom and truth, rather than to follow the whim of human and worldly wisdom and ways. Otherwise, that would have caused the divisions and disunity to continue even further, leading to further fracture in the unity within God’s Holy Church, the Christian community. Through the words of the Lord, God and His servants kept on reminding us the members of His Church to trust in His wisdom and love, His truth and grace, because in Him alone we can find the sure path to true happiness and salvation.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the Lord and His disciples, as He called on His first disciples by the Lake of Galilee or Gennesaret. There He encountered Simon, the future St. Peter, as well as the other fishermen, who had not been able to get any fishes all night long despite their efforts. The Lord told them to lower their nets according to His instruction, and while Simon told Him that they had done work all night and got nothing, but he still obeyed the Lord and did as He asked of him to do. According to conventional and worldly wisdom, this would have been foolish to do, as all the more that Simon Peter and the others must have been experienced fishermen, who must have known that it was pointless to try more.

Yet, as shown by the Lord’s instructions and what happened afterwards, Simon Peter and the other fishermen immediately got a catch so massive, with so many fishes trapped in their nets that their boats almost sank from the great weight of the fishes. This miracle showed us all that what the world considered foolish, is actually the truth and possible in the sight of God. We must not put our faith in the Lord and His truth on the backbench, but instead, put it at the forefront of our lives. We have to prioritise Him and not to forget that His way and truth is the better way forward. We have to learn to trust in Him more the way that Simon, St. Peter, trusted in Him and humbled himself before the Lord, in listening to and obeying the Lord’s words.

In the same way therefore, each and every one of us as Christians ought to be more trusting in God, putting our faith and trust in Him, and not to pride ourselves on our human achievements and greatness, our wisdom and glory. We have to learn to listen to the Lord and allow Him to lead and guide us down the right path. We should listen to the Lord calling us deep within our hearts and minds, and turn towards Him with full of faith and desire to obey Him and to do His will. And as we heard in our Gospel passage today, through the same event of the miraculous catching of fishes, we see how through God’s guidance, as the Church, all of us can gain so much more from our efforts.

There are still so many opportunities that we as the Church can and should do in our works of evangelisation, as well as in the matter of the caretaking of our world, particularly remembering that today is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. We are reminded that each and every one of us ought to be good and responsible stewards of creation, and in order to do so, we should be willing to allow God to guide us in our actions through His wisdom and grace. May the Lord continue to show us His wisdom, His truth and strengthen us with great faith, dedication and energy that we may always strive to do our best to glorify God in all things by our lives, now and always, evermore. Amen.

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