5th Sunday C Cardinal Michael Homily 6 Feb 2022

Posted on 7th February, 2022

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)


We are in ordinary time, in fact the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time. This period may not seem very inviting. As someone has said it “may seem drab and colourless. Who wants to be ordinary?” Yet, if we reflect, during the lockdown necessitated by the pandemic, we were dreaming of returning to ‘the normal’, getting back to what was ordinary for us.


Being ordinary, as Christians, does not mean that we do nothing. Rather it means that we live out our faith in a way which has become, as it were, second nature for us. St Paul, in his letter to the Christians of Corinth (Second Reading) reminds us of our faith in Jesus Christ, who has suffered death for us, but is Risen from the dead so that we might have life, so that we might be born again to new life.


The gospel shows us how people discover Christ. Jesus is preaching to the multitude. They are pressing so closely around him that he feels the need for a bit of distance. He gets into a boat - note that he doesn’t ask if he can enter the boat; he just climbs in. But we can note also that Jesus and Simon have already met before. The Gospel of John tells us that John the Baptist had pointed out Jesus to some of his disciples. One of these, Andrew, had followed Jesus and had then introduced to him his brother, Simon. So Jesus and the boatman, Simon, were at least slightly known to each other.


After preaching, Jesus indicated to Simon where he could catch fish. Simon could have reacted negatively: “I am the professional fisherman. Who are you to tell me my business?” But he follows the suggestion of Jesus and the result is truly miraculous.


What is his reaction now? “Leave me, Lord, I am a sinful man!” This is perhaps a normal reaction when faced with the wondrous generosity of the Lord. It is a common feature of all the readings today. Seeing the glory of God, the prophet Isaiah cries out: “I am a man of unclean lips.” Yet, despite this, he is ready to be the Lord’s messenger. St Paul confesses that he hardly deserves the name of apostle, since he had persecuted the first Christians, but he adds: “by God’s grace that is what I am”, an apostle.

I don’t think that Simon really wanted to be parted from Jesus. And as we see, He and his brother Andrew, and their fishing partners, James and John, leave everything to follow Jesus. And they are encouraged by Jesus who says to them: “Do not be afraid”.


It seem to me that Jesus is saying the same to us today. Every time we come to Mass we always start by confessing our sins and asking for mercy and pardon. And just before receiving communion we say: “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.”  But Jesus says to us: “Do not be afraid. I am always with you. Do not be afraid to give witness to me. Live your faith, however difficult the circumstances are. Be ready to share your faith with others, more by what you are doing, than what you are saying. Be generous, as God is generous. Be generous to your neighbours, with your goods, but also with your time and compassion. I shall be with you.”


Jesus chose companions to share in his mission of spreading the Kingdom of God. We share in this mission. We are not alone. We can give thanks to the Lord that we are part of this parish of St Vincent de Paul, that we belong to this diocese of Liverpool that is called to become the Church that the Lord wants it to be, that we are members of the Catholic Church led by Pope Francis who is inviting us to walk together to discover what God wants of us in these days.


Let us continue to walk together, not relying on our own strength, but counting on the graces that the Generous Lord gives to each one of us.  He is leading us, let us follow him with courage, trust and joy. Amen.

Make A Comment

Characters left: 2000

Comments (0)