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February 7, 2016 - Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
•    From today’s Gospel: “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, ‘Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.’”
•    How often do we condemn ourselves and declare ourselves unworthy, like St. Peter in today’s Gospel?
•    We are in fact a Church of sinners…  But sin isn’t the primary problem… 
•    The real problems occur when we become our own judge and jury… Condemning ourselves on God’s behalf…
•    The real problems occur when we begin to believe the lie that we’re unworthy of God’s love…
•    The real problems occur when we believe, like Peter, that because we’re sinners, we must dwell apart from the Church…
•    If we can identify with Peter… If we can appreciate how far short we all fall from perfection…There’s some Good News for us – We’re not alone…
•    But the really good news is that we don’t need to be sinless to be used by God for His good purposes…
•    It’s God’s desire that we each play a role in His plan of salvation…
•    Just as Jesus used Peter… So too He will use us… though we may never fully appreciate it in this life…
•    From St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me has not been ineffective.”
•    This profound statement by St. Paul should become our personal mantra… especially when we’re ready to condemn ourselves…
•    Everything that has been allowed to happen to us throughout our lives was allowed by the Grace of God to make us who we are today…
•    Everything in life is ultimately redemptive… through God’s endless grace…
•    We’re not meant to go through life with our heads down, beating our breasts, proclaiming that we’re unworthy of God’s love because of our sinfulness…
•    But neither are we to go through life with an inflated ego…
•    Jesus tells Peter in today’s Gospel: “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
•    Jesus calls each of us out into the deep waters of our faith... 
•    In order for this to happen, we must begin to confront our fears...
o    Our fears of letting go... 
o    Our fears of giving up control and surrendering our lives to God; 
o    Perhaps even our fears of God...
•    Like St. Peter and St. Paul… We’re all human – Sharing all of the ups and downs of our human condition… But none of this limits God…
•    What makes all the difference…  Is our ability to allow God to work in our lives…
•    I’ll close with a quote from Jean Vanier who described what it means to be human in this way: “To be human is to accept who we are, this mixture of strength and weakness.  To be human is to accept and love others just as they are.  To be human is to be bonded together, each with our weaknesses and strengths, because we need each other.”  (Becoming Human, Pg 40)

 

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