PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP: STEPPING AWAY FROM THE SHALLOW LIFE AND FOLLOWING THE LORD. HOMILY FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

Put out into the deep pic

Do you know why some treasures are called precious stones (like a diamond, Sapphire, and Emerald) and precious metals (like gold, silver, and platinum)? They are found underneath the earth and to get them one must dig deep into specific rocks and soils. We consider some animals special because they are rarely seen around our living spaces but deep in the wild. If there is a tree that stands still through all the seasons of the year, know for sure that the roots are deep into the soil.

In the Gospel Reading today (Luke 5:1-11), we learn about the call of Simon Peter and his partners from fishers of fish to fishers of men, and foremost followers of Jesus Christ. The narrative reveals that a crowd was listening to our Lord preaching by the lake of Gennesaret and seeing two boats with the fishermen occupants washing their nets he requested for Peter’s boat as a provisional pulpit for his preaching.

At the end to the preaching, our Lord asked Simon to put into the deep and lower the nets for a catch. He replies and tells our Lord that they worked all night and caught nothing but at his command, he would lower the nets. When they put the nets into the deep, they had a huge catch to the extent that the nets were tearing, and they needed help from their partners.

Simon Peter could not contain the miracle and thus asked Jesus Christ our Lord to depart from him for he is a sinful man, but the Lord’s says to him “do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. Thereafter Simon Peter and others left everything and followed him.

Laboring Without the Lord is a Shallow Enterprise

The word deep refers to something that extends from the surface reaching down. In another sense, it refers to an extreme, intense, and thorough measure. The opposite of deep is shallow or superficial and when we compare the two words, we discover that deep is mostly positive while shallow falls to the negative side. For example, we can differentiate between a deep conversation and a shallow one.

Life could be deep or shallow depending on the way and manner we live it. A shallow life is a life without the active presence of Christ. The word of God according to the prophet Isaiah (29:13) expresses shallow life very well where it says:

Because these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote.

The prophet Ezekiel (33:31), talks about the shallow people as those who come, sit and hear the word of God but refuse to do them. In the Gospel of Luke (6:48-49), our Lord Jesus Christ uses the image of building a house with a foundation and without foundation to describe a deep-rooted life versus a shallow life in God

From the event at the Lake, Simon Peter and his fishing partners labored through the night with all their tested and trusted fishing skills yet they were unable to catch a single fish. However, when our Lord Jesus Christ appeared the next day and asked them to put their nets into the deep, they had a great catch. With the Lord, we can do more but without him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

We see a similar situation with the encounter Isaiah had in the temple. The encounter with the glory of God in the temple, made Isaiah confess his shallowness just like Simon Peter would say, “depart from me for I am a sinful man”. When the angel touched Isaiah’s lips the charcoal he was renewed and equipped to go on the mission. And when Peter confessed his sinfulness, he was picked to become a disciple of the Lord.

Our life endeavors are meaningful and fulfilling only when we have God and obey His commands just as Simon did in the passage.

Moving Forward: Put Out into the Deep

Why do we stay on the superficial when we could aim deep? How deep you go determines how far you can go for anything in life. In the Gospel, we see Simon Peter and his partners washing their nets after a fruitless effort throughout the night. Washing their nets is a sign of giving up; they were done for the day. However, when Jesus appears, he lets them know that it is not yet over until God says it is over. What they needed to do was to put out into the deep as the Lord commanded them.

There is something more than what you might be seeing or experiencing in your life now and unless you go deeper you may not get higher. Let us also remember that our successes do not depend solely on our efforts but more on God’s presence in our lives and our readiness to follow him like Simon Peter and his companions who left everything and followed him.

Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week ahead. Remember to put out to the deep for a great catch. God bless you.

Fr. Bonnie.

 

One Comment on “PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP: STEPPING AWAY FROM THE SHALLOW LIFE AND FOLLOWING THE LORD. HOMILY FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

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