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

Homily Summary for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Deacon Landry


This narrative is referred to as "The Calling of the Fishermen." The question we need to ask ourselves is, "Who is called?" Surely not only these humble fishermen from two thousand years ago; otherwise, what reason is there for you and me to reflect on this gospel today?

The fishermen have toiled all night—the only sensible time to fish—and have been totally unsuccessful. These men are skilled and experienced at their occupation, and it is a carpenter who suggests they return to deep water and cast their nets. In an extraordinary act of faith, Peter takes them out in his boat to follow Jesus' command. The results are astonishing—not only are they successful, but to the point that the catch might capsize the boat.

James and John abruptly leave everything and join Peter to follow Jesus. Luke's gospel makes this response more understandable than the others since he tells us prior to this gospel reading how Jesus had been to Simon's house and healed his mother-in-law and later Jesus healed all of the sick and demon-possessed. And there's the miracle catch of fish.

I'd like to share with you some thoughts on being called to be "fishers of men." Let's begin with this concept of being "called." We are all familiar with the term vocation. The root word for vocation is vocare, which is Latin for "to call." God calls each one of us in a particular way to follow Him. In our culture, where happiness or success is measured by material wealth, we can be easily distracted from our calling. It is important to remember that our true vocation comes not from this world, but from God. Therefore, we must make every effort to listen for what God had called us to do, the path we must take to follow him. 

The process of making a decision about your life with the help of the Holy Spirit is called "discernment." As baptized Christians we are all called to a life of holiness. However, some are called to a more specific way of service to God and others, such as the priesthood, diaconate or consecrated life.

Prayer is absolutely essential. We must learn to ask God what he wants, not what we want. And we must learn to listen. I can assure you that you will know if you are called. And it will become increasingly apparent that it is not so much a decision you make, but the answer to your prayers.



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