Today the Holy Mother Church celebrates the feast of Saint Patrick. He was born in Britain to a Roman family. Saint Patrick was taken to slavery in Ireland at the age of sixteen. He was credited to be the one who brought Christianity to Ireland. He died in Ireland.
Saint Patrick endured many hardships as a bishop. While a missionary in Ireland, he endured a lot of hardship and passed through many challenges.
Despite the troublesome challenges, Saint Patrick remained strong in God. He took the word of God as his guide and consolation. One of His favourite quotes is from Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God”.
Once it is God’s word, Saint Patrick was willing to abide by it even when things became troublesome. His life teaches us how to trust in God’s word always, especially at that point when there is a temptation to lose hope in God.
He is remembered for his fearless way of preaching the word of God and deep trust in the word. Saint Patrick is remembered today as the second Patron of the Nigerian Church. The church in Ireland and Nigeria celebrate today the feast of Saint Patrick in a special way.
In today’s gospel, Jesus came to the lake of Gennesaret, He saw Peter and other fishermen already washing their nets.
Peter and the fishermen had toiled all through the night, but yet caught nothing. He took his time and taught the crowd, then He asked Peter to put his net deep into the water for a catch.
Peter complained that He had worked all through the night and caught nothing but if He says so, He can. By obeying Jesus, Peter caught a huge number of fish that even their nets could not bear. They even signaled to others to come and help them.
Like Saint Patrick, Peter never doubted the word of God. His modus operandi hence is “if God says so, I will do”. Therefore, Peter, obeying the word of God did not end in vain. In essence, we can never obey the voice of God, and that singular effort that we make goes in vain. Such a thing does not happen, Obedience to the word of God has a healing, miraculous and salvific effect.
1. Like Peter and Saint Patrick, there are also times when we do face problems, disappointments and challenges in life.
There are moments we feel it is good to lose hope in God especially when it seems God is keeping silent. Whenever life confronts us with these problems and other challenging situations, let the word of God be our best guide. Whatever God says we shall do amidst troublesome challenges, is what we shall do.
2. When you read the bible from the beginning to the end, you can never find anywhere God instructed His children to lose hope when they face problems. We are the people who choose to do that.
You will never find a single place God asks His children to complain, blame or allow themselves to die in worry.
In this gospel, you will see that Peter tried to complain. Had it been he just complained and refused to obey, no miracle would happen.
In the time of problems, what God tells us is “fear not”, “trust in Me” etc. If God says so, this is what we shall do and nothing more. Therefore, when you choose to do otherwise, we disobey God and this is why problems keep coming.
3. Peter was an expert in fishing but yet He couldn’t get a catch until Jesus came to help. Therefore, despite however knowledgeable you feel you are, do not despise the word of God.
There is a limit to whatever the human mind knows. There is a limit to what we can do, despite however skillful we are. So, Never forget your God. His presence in your life can mean a lot.
4. Before the miracle, Jesus took time to teach the people first. Secondly, the miracle of today happened immediately Peter decided to obey the Lord.
It affirms what Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from God. Therefore, today’s episode teaches that obedience to God’s word should come first.
Matthew 6:33 says “seek first the kingdom of God and other things will be given to you. So our problem today is that we seek miracles but neglect the word of God. We live the way we want and expect miracles to happen. This then causes a lot of problems.
5. If God says that you live in faith, live in faith. Hence, if God needs you to come to Him always, always come to Him. If He demands that you live in peace, live in peace. Thus, If God wants you to be merciful and forgive, be merciful and forgive.
If He wants you to be prayerful and run away from temptation, do not think twice. The Creator of the universe knows the reason He needs us to do them. It is only when we do them, that we can find out the reason God demands these from us. The word of God does not go in vain.
When we obey God, we will always experience an inner peace. When we obey Him, it leads us to salvation, eternity, healing, upliftment, favours and abundant blessings. He says in Luke 11:28 “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.
So, let us today emulate Saint Patrick and Peter. To do this is the surest secret of salvation and abundant blessings.
May God help us to emulate the life of Saint Patrick. May He give us the strength to remain obedient to His word. Amen.