Thursday, September 3, 2015

Reflection: Luke 5:1-11

Thursday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time — Luke 5:1-11

In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls his first disciples. Jesus was proclaiming the word of God at the Lake of Gennesaret. As he was standing by the lake, he saw two boats on the shore. The fishermen had just come in from the lake. They were washing their nets and cleaning their boats.

Jesus went over to them and climbed into Simon’s boat. I wonder how Simon reacted to this man climbing into his boat without saying a word to him. In today’s world, it would be like a stranger getting into your car when you are stopped at an intersection. Jesus boldly asked Simon to row out a short distance from the shore. Simon did so. Then from the boat, Jesus began to teach the crowds.

When Jesus finished his teaching, he told Simon to put out into the deep water and then to lower his nets. I wonder what Simon’s inner reaction was when Jesus told him what to do? After all, Peter was a professional fisherman. He had been doing this for years. Simon’s response to Jesus implies that he was a bit aggravated. He skeptically tells him: “We fished all night long and caught nothing. However, I will do as you command.” And as we know, they caught such a great number of fish that their nets were unable to bear the weight of the catch and they began to tear. Simon and the other fishermen called out to the men in other boats to come and help them. They had caught so many fish that the fishermen were afraid that both the boats would sink.

All of the men were amazed at the size of the catch. They had never caught such an enormous number of fish at one time. Simon Peter was filled with awe and wonder. He fell at the knees of Jesus and said: “Jesus, depart from me for I am a sinful man.” Jesus responded to him and said: “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will be catching men (and women).” The disciples were so astonished at this miracle that they left their families and homes to follow Jesus.

Most likely, we will not be fishing today (at least for fish). However, if we keep our eyes and hearts open, we may recognize the abundance of Jesus’ gift to us. It may be the love and care we experience from others. Or it may be that your day goes well and you experience satisfaction at all you were able to accomplish. For many human beings, it almost is a natural tendency to focus on what goes wrong in our day rather than what our blessings have been. True, something may go wrong but there may be many more instances of what has gone well. Be alert and be thankful!

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