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Feb 10th, 2013 English Homily – 5th Sunday of Ordinary time

Jesus and the fishermen

Jesus and the fishermen

5th Sunday of Ordinary time, Feb 10, 2013

English Homily – Father Andreas Kurniawan, OP


In today’s Gospel, Jesus gave St. Peter the miracle of catching so much fish. The normal reaction would be to say, “Thank You, Lord! You have given me so much!” just like at the end of this year we are saying to the Lord, “Thank You, Lord, You have given us so much for the whole year!” But St Peter did not say that to Jesus when he received so much fish. He said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man. (I do not deserve this. Why are You so good to me, Jesus? Why is it that You are giving me so many things?)” Then Jesus tells him why He gave him so many things, “Do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching men. (You know why I am making this miracle for you, why I am giving so many good things because I want you to bring My message to others, I want you to become My apostle.)”

This is what happens when we receive so many good things from God, we have to become an apostle of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He gives us a lot of things because at the same time He gives us responsibility. We should ask ourselves, “Why the Lord want me to become a fisher of men?” Think about it: after we die, when we are facing Jesus Christ. What will Jesus do and ask? He will not call St. Mathew to count how much money we have; He will not call St Thomas Aquinas, the most intelligent theologian, to check our skripsi; He will not call St. Louis the Great, the French king, to check if our management style is effective or not so we can enter the kingdong of heaven. We know what God will ask us: after Cain killed his brother Abel, God asked him, “Where is your brother?” Cain was trying to set the question aside and said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Of course the answer if: YES! You are supposed to take care of your brother. Today it is the same for us who are called to be fishers of men: first we have to bring ourselves to God to enter heaven, then we bring others.

“But father,” some may say, “do you remember the parable of the talents where the Lord gave 10, 5, 2 talents to 3 different servants and He admitted the hardworking servants who earned more talents into heaven? It means that if you have a lot of money, you can enter heaven!” Is that true? Is that the correct interpretation of the parable?

One day, when the founder of Opus Dei, St Jose Maria Escriva, wanted to set up the Opus Dei mission in Asia, he asked a young lady from Peru. She was a Chinese although she was born in Peru and grew up in Peru. She responded, “Yes, father, of course.” So she went to talk to her parents who are both Chinese living in Peru. They were believing Christians, so they said, “Of course you can always go!” A few days before she left, her father called her and wanted to talk with her, “Remember my daughter, that it is important for the Chinese to have our businesses running well and profitably.” She said, “Yes, father,” and she was afraid that her father did not want her to go because he wanted her to take care of their family business especially because she did not have any brothers. But then her father continued, “Remember my daughter, in spiritual business, the profit is counted by the number of souls you bring closer to God. So if you are going to Asia, you have to bring many souls to God, otherwise the business will not be profitable.” This is the correct interpretation: Lord you gave me 5 talents, here are another 5. From now on said Jesus Christ, It is men that you will catch. You will become an apostle.” Peter and the others left their boat to serve Jesus as apostles. But some people may say, “Father, I’m not called to be a bishop or a priest!”

There was a couple who led an ordinary life running their business which is making tents and yet they brought people closer to God, especially Apollos who was a very good speaker who later on became a “competitor” of St. Paul because he was so good he preached like St. Paul. These couples were ordinary people living ordinarily in the world. There is a letter from the Bishop of Surabaya for the Lenten Season, let me read it. It said the theme for the APP 2013 is “Bekerja dengan iman” (To work with faith).

Bekerja dengan iman berarti bekerja dengan mengandalkan Tuhan sendiri. Bekerja sesuai dengan rencana-Nya. Dewasa ini banyak orang tanpa sadar sering melihat makna bekerja sekedar untuk mencari penghasilan dan demi memenuhi kebutuhan hidup, sementara makna bekerja yang lain seperti ungkapan aktualisasi diri, pelayanan kepada sesama, serta panggilan untuk ambil bagian dalam karya penciptaan Allah mulai diabaikan. APP sebagai moment pertobatan ecclesia mengajak kita merefleksikan hidup, panggilan bekerja kita sebagai jawaban terhadap panggilan Tuhan. Sebagai umat beriman, kita hendak melihat kembali aktifitas bekerja sebagai iman kepada Tuhan.”

In our world, in things that we do, we have to live our faith. I invite all the faithful to read the letter of the bishop. It is important for this Lenten season and so that we become apostles who live and work in faith.

As we celebrate Imlek today, the Chinese New Year, let us remember that the ancestors of the Chinese brought their businesses throughout the entire world and also their culture. As Catholics, we must bring our spiritual business and culture throughout the entire world. A CATHOLIC PROPHET BRINGS SPIRITUAL PROFIT. Let us spend a few moments of silent prayer realizing that we are all called to be prophets of God and promising Him that we will be His apostles.

Redemptor Mundi Parish

Dukuh Kupang Barat I/7
Surabaya, East Java
Phone/Whatsapp: +62-8585-333-2211
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