HIS WORDâ€¦ PUT OUT INTO DEEP WATER AND LOWER YOUR NETS FOR A CATCHâ€¦ DO NOT BE AFRAID; FROM NOW ON YOU WILL BE CATCHING MENâ€¦
my wordsâ€¦Brothers and Sisters, today is the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time in Cycle C;and is going to be the last Sunday in Ordinary Time for this coming Wednesday, February 10, 2016, is â€œAsh Wednesdayâ€ the beginning of the 40 days of Lent (Kwaresma). With that opening salvo of the Lenten Season, we are going to have pause of around 97 days from the Ordinary Time: 40 days of Lent (February 10 to March 20, 2016), 7 days of Holy Week (March 20 to 27, 2016), and 50 days of Easter (March 27 to May 15, 2016), and the Green Season will resume on May 16, 2016, Monday after Pentecost Sunday. This will be our Liturgical Calendar in the coming days.
The Synoptic Gospels, (that is Matthew, Mark, and Luke) present Jesus as calling the first stringers of His 12 Apostles from among the fishermen. And we ask, why from â€œfishermenâ€? Why did He not call first the doctors and experts of the law like the Pharisees and the Scribes, or the rich and prominent ones like the Sadducees and the Essenes, or the other well-to-do sectors in the Jewish society during His time? The answer can be mysterious but can be reflected onâ€¦ Being FISHERMEN already belonged to the upper middle class of the Jewish society and was already a form of decent profession. But what is more amazing for fishermen even up to the present is the way they catch fish; not counting the illegal ways of fishing, good and upright fishermenuse LIGHT in catching fish, and in the olden times it was the PetroMax, or the RockGas, or perhaps this time the rechargeable lights. Why the use of Light? By nature fish or fishes are attracted to the light; they hover around and swarm to the light; thus much easier for fishermen to catch them by just canning them into the boat or for bigger and huge catches with the use of the net as in todayâ€™s gospel. This is also the reason why fishes are hard to catch during daytime and Full Moons (Kabilogan ng Buwan) because they are all over scattered in the wide open seas following the bigger light. The CALL therefore from being â€œFishermenâ€ into becoming â€œFishers of Menâ€ is to bring peoples of the whole wide world to the TRUE LIGHT of the world,JESUS CHRIST and His Gospels. Let us just remember that the overall theme of the Christmas season, the Candelaria, and the Easter Season is JESUS CHRIST as the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. Thus the mission of catching men for the LIGHT is born.
Brothers and Sisters, in the gospel, Jesus ordered Simon to â€œput out into deep water and lower the nets for a catchâ€ (Lk 5:4). â€œDuc in altumâ€ was the theme of the clarion call of the late Pope John Paul II (now St. John Paul II) as we entered into the Third Millennium, the year 2000. By the year 2021, Christianity will be 500 years old in the Philippines. The journey towards the 500th year of Christianity should be moments of DEEPENING our faith and lives making it bear fruit in our lives as Christians. Year 2000 was considered the â€œfloweringâ€ of the Christian faith; year 2021 would hopefully be the reaping of the â€œfruitsâ€ of our Christian faith. After all, the final catch of the net will be in the Kingdom of Heaven.
HAPPY CATCHING MEN AND WOMEN, YOUTH AND CHILDREN FOR JESUS AND THE GOSPELS…
(ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)