Sunday, February 7, 2016

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

On September 22, 2013, Pope Francis addressed a large meeting of young people from Sardinia. He commented on today's Gospel, in which Jesus addresses the crowd on the shore from Simon Peter's boat, and then tells Simon to launch out into the deep and let down his nets. The disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. This gospel scene holds a lesson for all of us:
Peter, in that critical moment, takes a risk. What could he have done? He could have given in to weariness and to discouragement, thinking that it is pointless and that it is better to withdraw and go home. Instead, what does he do? With courage, he steps out of himself and decides to trust Jesus. He says: “Well, alright! At your word I will let down the nets.” Be careful! He does not say: at my strength, my calculations, my experience as an expert fisherman, but rather “at your word,” at the word of Jesus! And the result is an incredible catch, the nets are filled to the point that they almost tear.
The Miraculous Draught of Fish
...When everything seems to be standing still and stagnant, when personal problems disturb us and social hardships do not meet with the right responses, it is not good to consider oneself vanquished. Jesus is the way: get him to embark on our “boat” and put out into the deep with him! He is the Lord! He changes the prospect of life. Faith in Jesus leads to a hope that goes further, to a certainty based not on our qualities and skills alone, but on the word of God, on the invitation that comes from him. Without making too many human calculations and without worrying about checking whether the situation that surrounds you coincides with your points of security. Put out into the deep, go out of yourselves: go out of our small world and open ourselves to God, to open ourselves increasingly also to our brethren. Opening ourselves to God is opening ourselves to others. Take a few steps outside ourselves, little steps, but take them. Little steps, going out of yourselves toward God and toward others, opening your heart to brotherhood, to friendship and to solidarity.

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