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Fourth Sunday After Pentecost 2017

Who do you say I am?

From the shoreline to the boat of Simon Peter Jesus moved with precision and designation. Hishealings drew great crowds and His teaching was enlightening the multitude. No one had even done the works and spoken with the authority of this Person. So they gathered around the boat ofPeter who put off from the shore a short distance and all listened to the inspired words of God.Now Simon was tired after a full night on the lake but the words and manner of this teacher hadhim spellbound. Then the teacher turn to him and asked him to put out “into the deeps.”

Perhaps Jesus was a healer and a magnificent preacher but what could He know about fishing. So Simon responded to Jesus’ desire to fish with the statement that is quite significant:  “Master, we have beenat it all night and caught nothing but at thy word I will lower the net.”  What does a carpenterowabout water, the tides, the movement of fish?  Jesus was a master teacher but nothing more to Simonuntil the nets were lowered and now the transformation. The net was raised with a full assembly of fish. Simon cries out in awe:  “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

With the catch of fish the divine nature of the Lord shone in Simon’s presence and his statement utters the truth about each man, woman and child. Sinful we are and do not deserve the divine presenceWho has entered this world of ours to bring us home to the Father. Dirt deserves nothing but to be walked upon but God is so humble and so loving that He cannot deny His eternal love affair to bring back the wanderingsheep and complete the heavenly presence of 100. As Simon so each soul must come to the determination of the Person of Jesus Christ. Who do you say I am?   

In the world today Jesus is a master. We see the rejection of the divinity of Christ and the result is clearlyan abundance of human constructs proclaiming their vision of life. Many are nothing more than self help courses; others take a few words here or there of the Gospel and seek a prosperous journey in this world.If we see Jesus as a master then He is one of the many on the stage of history that has given us a word and then passed on.

However, if a soul comes to recognize Jesus as Lord, then the world changes. The world is a journey which leadsthe soul into a deeper understanding of the divine love which seeks to purify, illuminate and unite with our souls.Every event in life is under the Lordship of Jesus and has a meaning that is eternal. The Christian melts into theHoly Trinity no matter what takes place in the life of that person. Proclaiming His Lordship leads the soul to acceptall the expressions of divine providence knowing that this is the best for me for it comes from the hands of God Himself.He is Lord and so we are lead into the depths of His Love and become fruitful in leading souls to Heaven.

In other words, God will not depart from us due to our sinfulness but will love our humility and challenge us to go forth and bring souls to Him day after day. Our apostolic fruitfulness is the divine mark of our union with Him. May the blessed Mother, the perfect example of the Christian, help each of us to walk the walk of Simon Peter and pull in the nets filled with eternal souls. This is the purpose of our Catholic life. May God bring you to recognizeJesus as your Lord.

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr. Richard Voigt

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