OMELIE / Omelie EN

10 feb 2019
10/02/2019 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time - C 

10/02/2019 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time - C 

Reading 1 IS 6,1-2.3-8 * Psalm 137 * Reading 2 1COR 15,1-11 * Gospel LK 5,1-11


Our God is a God who is… odd: he wants to make use only of sinners, nay, men who know they are sinners! This could definitely be the conclusion coming out of today’s passages reading, that are showing us the characters of the great prophet Isaiah and of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Even if they are so different from each other, these men have two things in common: called by God, they recognize they are sinners.

Isaiah realizes he is in the presence of the immense God when he becomes able to see the Seraphim, who are singing the words that have become later on the praise of all Christians in the core moment of the liturgy: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory”.

The Seraphim’s beautiful words highlight the impurity of our speeches, that are always implying a little selfishness. Even the words we pronounce in order to address God are showing the focus on ourselves, on our problems, and the desires of our body. These are words soaked in selflessness, they come out of dirty lips. Isaiah knows that, and he thinks that this is a good enough reason to reject God’s call. And instead he cannot prevent God from calling him to serve Him. God has tools to purify, to make sure that men’s lips are worthy of using his words. For Him, the man’s sin is not an immovable obstacle.

Jesus too knows that every man is a sinner and that He needs to look for disciples among sinners. After talking to the crowd from the unusual floating podium, Simon’s boat, He wants to reward his host and his companions; in this way his humility and obedience are tested: in the middle of the day He advises him to cast the nets, Simon obeys with difficulty. He knows that Jesus, coming from Nazareth, does not know anything about fishing in lakes, but he also knows that His word is the Word of God. The hard obedience is rewarded. The prize, however, demands new effort and new risks of him: the nets are in danger to break, he needs to call for help, and two boats almost sink. How odd is Jesus’ miracle! It is a great gift, but asks for effort and needs faith, because it makes everything uncertain, wealth and life itself.

Simon understood one thing though, nay, two: he has understood to be in front of a man who, hard to believe, is like God; in addition, he has recognized that he is a sinner. What sins did Simon commit? Maybe he has never done anything really serious, but being a man, with a self-centered heart and a heart focused on earthly things, represents a situation that is far from God of selfless and faithful love. He understands that he is not worthy of being in the presence of Jesus, God’s Holy One, the Messiah.

Jesus, first of all, reassures him: “Do not be afraid”! It is like He was saying: “You really are in the presence of God, but He can come closer to you, even if you are a sinner. Whoever is close to God is freed from his sin, and can help with the Father’s love.” And indeed, Simon and his companions leave everything, even the big load of fish. Jesus did not intend to make them rich, but to get them closer. When Simon’s hands and heart are free, he can follow the Lord, he can be with Him even if he is still seeing himself as a sinner. And Jesus will show His greatness by saying of Simon and his companions “you will be catching men”. They will save men from the condition of insecurity, danger and death in which they find themselves because of sin and selfishness, entrusting them to the safe hands of the Son of God.

This is the work that Saint Paul too is doing for the Corinthians. The second reading introduces him to us while he, with steadfast faithfulness, obedient and humble, announces the Gospel to them. It is “good news”, joyful news, with many witnesses, in particular the Twelve Apostles. He has been a persecutor of the Church, a great sinner then, not worthy to speak and write the words of the faith. This is the reason why he is having experience of God’s grace, of that God who has loved him and has chosen him. God is not ashamed to have disciples that before had been putting their efforts into being against Him, on the contrary, their conversion testifies a goodness and a wisdom greater than those a man could possible imagine. Therefore, Paul announces firmly and confidently the death, the burial and the resurrection of Jesus, facts that are the foundation of the knowledge of the true God and that are proof of the truthfulness of His love.

The stories of Isaiah, Peter and Paul are for us bright beacons that make us see the huge mercy of the Father and that pushes us to be open, no matter what, to every call of His, which is asking for an effort in taking on small or big tasks. We are always unworthy, but, if He is calling us, we cannot prevent Him from showing His greatness and from building His kingdom, making use exactly of our smallness and weakness.