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5th Sunday Of Ordinary Time. "Here I am. Send me."

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Jesus, help! Homily, 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Feb. 7th, 2016. An unlicensed fisherman was casting his line into the lake when a stranger walked up and asked him, “Any luck?” The fisherman boasted, “This is a great spot. Caught ten big ones here yesterday.” “Do you know who I am?” the stranger asked. The fisherman shrugged his shoulders. “I am the game warden.” The fisherman thought moment and then said, “Do you know who I am?” “Not yet,” the warden said. The fisherman boasted, “I am the biggest liar in the county.” Imagine yourself as an electrician trying to solve a difficult electrical problem. A plumber comes along and tells you what to do. How would you respond? You would probably tell him politely to get lost. What does a plumber know about electricity? Well, in today’s gospel we have fishermen who were having difficulty catching any fish. Fished all night, – nothing. Along comes a carpenter who tells them what to do. Fortunately, instead of disregarding his suggestion, they follow through and, behold, a great catch of fish! It was against all odds, not logical. The fishermen quickly realized they were dealing with more than just a carpenter. So when Jesus called them to follow him, they dropped their nets and followed him. There is one value stands out in our readings today and that is Humility. Humility is truth. And the first truth is that God is all good and holy and beautiful. So with the angels in today’s first reading, we proclaim, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” We do that here at Mass. With Peter we bow down in awe and worship of our God. A good way to start the day. Humility is truth. And the truth is that we humans are imperfect, weak, sometimes sinful, sometimes selfish. We know that. So when Jesus calls us to follow him and be fishers of people, we feel unqualified. Isaiah felt unqualified. He said, “Woe is me. I am a man of unclean lips.” Paul felt unqualified. He said, “I am the least of the apostles.” Peter felt unqualified. He said, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” James and John must have felt unqualified. They we just fishermen. It’s been said that God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. Just as Isaiah was cleansed by a burning ember, we too are cleansed and qualified by baptism and reconciliation. Just as the Apostles were later strengthened by the Eucharist and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we too are strengthened by the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit. After being cleansed and qualified, Isaiah heard a voice saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Isaiah responded enthusiastically, “Here I am. Send me.” What is God asking of us? “I need someone to preach the gospel.” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” “I need some to help protect the unborn.” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” “I need someone to show compassion to immigrants” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” “I need someone to minister to the homeless.” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” “I need someone to give the example of forgiveness.” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” I need someone to minister to the sick. Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” I need someone to comfort the sorrowing” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” I need someone to listen to the lonely.” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” “I need someone to teach and guide my children.” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” “I need someone to work for peace.” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” “I need someone to love all my people.” Our response, “Here I am. Send me.” We come here to listen to God and discern his will for us, and then respond with all our heart. When we are humble, we realize that all blessings, all goodness, all life, and all talents come from God. So we thank him, especially here at Mass. When we thank God, then he can then work through us. We won’t get in his way. We can go forth to do great things, grateful that God is working in us and through us. Here at Mass we are nourished by the Word of God and strengthened by the Bread of Life. Then at the end of Mass we are told to “Go Forth to Love and Serve the Lord.” That’s the end of the Mass, Part One. The rest of the week with all our deeds of service is the Mass, Part Two. An observation… During today’s Super Bowl game, it costs 5 million dollars for a thirty-second ad. 5 million dollars for thirty seconds! That’s a million dollars for six seconds. How much is thirty seconds worth? What is the value of thirty seconds of hospitality? What is the value of thirty seconds of kindness? Or thirty seconds of listening intently to someone who’s upset or grieving? What is the value of a six second smile? Or six seconds to give someone a hug? How valuable are six seconds to tell someone, “Thank you?” How about the price of six seconds to say, “I forgive you?” These seconds expressing love are worth more than three million dollars. They have eternal value because they advertise what God is like. In thirty seconds we can proclaim the gospel over and over again that God is love. And he loves through us. With love dwelling in our hearts, we are richer than any millionaire who does not have it, and can only buy TV time.

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1 Mary S = ""Any gift, however small, improves the condition of humanity. You cannot see this, of course, but it is true because it is an aggregate. It is like a scale. If evil and oppression are weighing down the scale completely on one side, you do not have something as great as that to counteract it, to balance the scale, to offset the overwhelming dominance of evil and circumstance, of ignorance, of oppression, of poverty.... When you add to the other part of the scale something small, it seems to have no effect. But when others add something small, sooner or later, in time, the scale is balanced, and beyond this it moves in favor of what is true and natural for human beings, which is to be united with others, which is to be creative, which is to be in service to their families and cultures in the world, to preserve the world, to take care of people, to be inspired and to have the glow of an inner life within themselves." http://www.newmessage.org/wiki/Contribution"
2 Shawn Bose = "What a clear way to express this truth.  It is often in a long day, a week or in an entire journey - it is a genuine moment of kindness, help, graciousness - given or received that is the most human moment, heartfelt and remembered. If we all practiced this, the world would be a better place. "