“Your daily life is your temple and religion.” –Kahlil Gibran
Today’s Gospel passage is a picture of how God can be found not only in the church and in the practices of religion but also in the ordinary experience of life particularly in our work, in our jobs, and in the practice of our profession.
The boat of Peter symbolizes our work or our profession. Jesus comes into our boat and uses it as a vessel of His message to the world. The coming of Jesus into our boats signifies that our jobs and our professions, however or complex they are, are vocations and missions, with greater purpose and ultimate meaning. Their greater purpose can be to sustain our families, to have a happy and convenient life, to advance science and technology, to serve the common good or even to serve our country. Whatever their greater purpose is, their ultimate meaning must be to serve as instrument to bring Jesus to the people we encounter in our lives.
Oftentimes, when our work finally becomes too familiar and routinary, or when our efforts don’t seem to bear any fruit, we lose our sense of wonder and we forget the meaning of the things we do. They just become a monotonous routine, we turn into machines and so we tire out and become victims to quiet desperations that consume us to the core of our being. It is at these moments when Jesus invites us to pause and let Him invade our boats, and then to go into the deep. And if we will just accept His invitation and surrender our boats and efforts to Him like Peter, it is then that we shall witness the catch of our lives. Nevertheless, most of the times, we are too knowledgeable, too controlling, too anxious, too afraid or too self-righteous to accept His help and call. We are afraid to surrender ourselves into the invasion of grace and to offer our efforts and their fruits into the hands of the Creator.
On the other hand, there are times that we accept Jesus’ help but after witnessing the miraculous catch, like Peter, we lose our focus in Jesus, we are overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of us, we see our weaknesses and flaws, and so we bury our heads in the sand and become afraid to move forward to greater blessings ahead.
Finally, whatever the fruits of our works are, no matter how great the catch is, the most important thing remains to be the people we catch, the people whose lives were touched by Jesus through us.
The challenge of today’s Gospel is for us to realize that there is something more in our jobs than earning money, that there is always something more in life if we will invite Jesus into our boats.
There is a calling in every work. Every job is a mission, if we will just heed the call to go into the deep. We are called to live in a deeper level, to contemplate, to ponder on things that really matter. And the things that really matter in our work are the people and the relationships we have with the,, through which Jesus will come into our lives.
And so may we always pray: “Lord, may everything we do begin with your inspiration and continue with your saving work. Let all our works always find its origin in you and through you reach completion. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Is 6:1-2a, 3-8
Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5,7-8
2nd Reading: 1 Cor 15:1-11
Gospel: Lk 5:1-11