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The call of Simon the Fisherman

REFLECTIONS TODAY

Published

LUKE 5:1-11

reflectionstodayWhile the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.

Jumping into the Unknown

We may be skilled at carpentry, painting, drawing, gardening, computers, or fishing. Part of this expertise is that sense of knowing when it is best to engage in the craft or what circumstances need to be there. One cannot be pushed to play the piano or the violin if one is not in the mood for it. Still, one must be ready to engage in one’s craft even if circumstance or timing is not there.

In the Gospel, Jesus (a carpenter, not a fisherman) “intervenes” in the lives of fishermen, Peter and companions, who have had a bad night at fishing. These fishermen may be irritated that someone who is not of their trade is dictating what they should do when they know it will be futile.

Yet, Peter puts his “expertise” aside and gives Jesus the benefit of the doubt. Somehow, Peter senses that even if this man (Jesus) is not a fisherman, he has shown wonderful signs in their presence: he is not an ordinary person foolishly challenging them. And so the miracle happens, and Peter can only be shaken deeply so as to realize, as in the case of Isaiah before the heavenly court (cf Is 6:5), that he is a sinful man before an all-powerful and holy God!

We are so used to rely on human training and expertise that we find it difficult to trust in something adventurous and unsure. This way we fail to see that there could be various other ways to realize our goals besides what we know. We miss the sense of adventure and surprise that every leap of faith usually brings. With God we do not venture into the unknown, for God will surely lead us in the right path to our glorious destiny. This is what Peter deeply learns by the experience.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

 

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