Putting into the Deep with Loving Trust, Total Surrender and Cheerfulness, Thursday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time (I), September 5, 2013

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Bernadette Parish, Fall River, MA
Thursday of the 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Year I
Memorial of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
September 5, 2013
Col 1:9-14, Ps 98, Lk 5:1-11

To listen to an audio recording of this homily, please click here: 

 

The following points were attempted in this homily:

  • Today we see revealed for us vocation and mission in the call and commissioning of Simon Peter in today’s Gospel, which sheds light on the vocation and mission of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta whose memorial the Church celebrates today.
  • Jesus’ command to Simon to put out into the deep water to lower his nets for a catch was totally counterintuitive because fish were caught in shallow water in darkness. But because he trusted in the Lord, he did what was asked, and had the greatest catch of his life. This is what strengthened him to leave that catch and everything else behind to follow Christ confident that he would have far greater hauls as a fisher of men.
  • This capacity to put out into the deep with trust is what characterized the life of Blessed Mother Teresa. The spirit with which she lived, the official “Spirit” of the Missionaries of charity, is loving trust, total surrender and cheerfulness as lived by Jesus and Mary in the Gospels. Like Peter, she had not just faith in God but loving faith. Her faith wasn’t a thing merely of her head but of her heart. That led her not just to surrender to God but to surrender herself completely so that His will, not hers, would be done. And because it was total, it was cheerful, because she knew she was giving what was pleasing to the God whom she loved.
  • Blessed John Paul II who beatified Blessed Mother Teresa chose for the motto of the third Christian millennium “duc in altum,” put out into the deep waters. Let us ask them both to intercede for us that with loving trust, total surrender and joy we might put out into the deep water and satiate Jesus’ infinite thirst for our souls and the souls of all, including those who are so often neglected whom Blessed Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity serve with a charity of which we are likewise capable.

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1
COL 1:9-14

Brothers and sisters:
From the day we heard about you, we do not cease praying for you
and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will
through all spiritual wisdom and understanding
to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,
so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit
and growing in the knowledge of God,
strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience,
with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 98:2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6

R. (2) The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Gospel
LK 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.