One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

September 07, 2006

For Thursday of the Twenty-Second Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 5:1-11

Today in our hearing, Christ has chosen Simon Peter to catch living members for the kingdom of life in God.
Simon had already heard Jesus preach, and had even hosted him as a guest in his own house, where Jesus healed his mother-in-law.
All of this had left an impression on Simon— an impression great enough that in spite of his own experience as a fisherman, and even after an entire fruitless night of fishing, Simon still obeys the command of Jesus:
Put out into deep water
and lower your nets for a catch.

With this act of obedience, the stage is now set for Simon Peter’s personal summons.
Simon sees that at the command of Jesus so many fish fill the nets that these begin to break; and the weight of the catch is so great that two boats begin to sink beneath it.
Simon seems afraid to be involved in an act of God.
He falls at the knees of Jesus, and he says, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid.”
Then Jesus gives Simon a vocation.
The Lord said to Simon that instead of fish, “From now on you will be catching men.”
Simon and his partners James and John silently brought their boats to land, left everything, obeyed their vocation and followed the Lord.
We can also recognize the pattern of today’s Gospel event each time we put out into the deep water of the Lord’s Work in his Eucharist.
We find ourselves face to face with God, the Lord, the Almighty Holy One who in this Blessed Sacrament works the exceeding wonder of his love and mercy for our salvation.
Then, if we are humble enough to be honest, we experience and recognize the distance between our unworthiness and God’s holiness— a distance that God has chosen to cross.
So we cry out, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed.”
And he, who is Love itself, he, who is himself the casting out of all fear, comes to us in the Eucharist of his body and blood which he surrendered to be our healing from fear and sin.
In receiving the Sacred Body and the Precious Blood of Christ, we also receive the command, our mission to be his flesh and blood, his Church for the life of the world.
We give quiet and simple obedience to this mission as we speak our “Amen” in receiving the Eucharist.
Ite, missa est ECCLESIA— “Go, all of you, the Church is now sent”— MISSA— sent to catch living members from out of the world’s deep waters of sin and death, to catch them into the deep waters of God’s kingdom of life.
Thanks be to God!

That God Be Glorified in All


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