5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Homily

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
Psalm 138, 1-2,2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11
February 8, 2016

Jesus continues to heal and to preach.  He is drawing great crowds that press upon him.  So, he gets into Simon’s boat and asks him to take the boat out a short distance.  Simon does as Jesus asks.  There’s nothing too astonishing here.  Simon probably wants to hear Jesus just like everyone else and this gives him a front row seat.

After Jesus has finished speaking, he directs Simon to take the boat out into deeper waters and to lower the nets.  Now, Simon and the others had been fishing all night and caught nothing.  They were professional fishermen while Jesus was a carpenter.  Why should Simon listen to a carpenter?

But he does…

What happens?  They catch so many fish that they have to call for help to pull in the nets.

Sometimes, we might keep trying to do something but without success.  No matter how hard we try we just can’t get the job done.  We are ready to give up but something nudges us to do it one more time, figure whatever happens, happens, and we succeed.

Perhaps we have been trying too hard to do it by ourselves and to do it our way.  We try to use what God has given to accomplish good but when we fail, we feel like we aren’t good enough.

When Simon realizes Jesus comes from God, he fell at the knees of Jesus and asked him to depart, believing he was not worthy to be with Jesus.

Paul realizes that, because of his past persecution of the Jews, he is not fit to be called an apostle.  He realizes that it by God’s grace that he has become an apostle.

Isaiah feels unclean and unworthy.  Alone he would be unworthy but God sends forth a seraphim who touches the ember from the altar to Isaiah’s lip and his sin in purged.  Isaiah then cries out “Here I am Lord!”

What task have we felt called to?  What task have we fallen short of completing?  When we reach the point of giving up, we let go of our way and in doing so, open ourselves to God.

Sometimes God asks big things of us.  Sometimes God asks simple things of us.  Sometimes God just wants us to stand up for what is good.

In Misericordiae Vultus (paragraph 15), Pope Francis writes, “In this Holy Year, we look forward to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society: fringes which modern society itself creates.”

Among those we are called to open our hearts to their needs are the little children.  We need to make sure they have proper care.  Studies have shown that when little children receive proper care, they do much better in school and their parents do better at work.

You may remember that in November we had a petition signing for an increase in child care subsidies in the state budget.  This petitions were sent to Governor Cuomo before he drafted the new budget.  This weekend is our regular Public Policy weekend and we are once again asking you to sign petitions for the state to increase child care subsidies by $190 million.  This time these petitions will go to our state legislature as they work on the budget.

How important are such subsidies for the poor?  One study should that for 80% of women living in poverty who had an abortion, not bearing able to afford a baby was a reason for having the abortion.  Employers show decreased employee absences when child care is available.  Data also shows they are more productive at work when the subsidies are available.

I read the story of a woman named Jennifer living in Bath, NY.  While receiving child care subsidies, she was able to attend job training that led to a minimum wage job.  Working at minimum wage, she still needed the subsidy but she was able to work hard and then get a job at a better wage where she could pay for some of the child care herself.

The early years are so important to a child’s own development to help them be flourishing adults in society one day.  Is it not worth the investment?  We are making it as easy as we can.  Our Service Team has tables set up for you to sign the petitions today.

Jesus loves the little children.  God calls us to do acts of mercy.  What are you willing to do to help others?

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