Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
1 While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennes'aret. 2 And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." 5 And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, 7 they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zeb'edee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men." 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
Meditation: Have you ever struggled because your life wasn't going the way you wanted? Do you feel that way right now? To many bills? Not enough money? Or maybe you are stressed because of your constant striving for more and more of the things of this world, or you are in debt up to your eyeballs trying to pay for and maintain those things you have already acquired. Do you spend most of your time focusing on how you will achieve a bigger home, a new car, stretching yourself out for that new flat screen or surround sound system your friend just purchased?
The Bible teaches us that actually we are not defined by our possessions or how much money we make, but rather by our hearts. The desires of the world will pass away, God reminds us not to put our faith in these things.
In today’s Gospel we learn that Apostle Peter struggle to catch a fish - daily survival food of fisherman. But in his struggle Peter was also willing to listen and even trust our Lord Jesus Christ, who said: “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Peter in first reaction reply: “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!” but then Peter added: “But at your word I will let down the nets. And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking” (Luke 5:4-6).
Apostle Peter trusted Jesus Christ and for that he was rewarded with a great shoal of fish. Even more, Lord spoke to him; "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men." Are you too, willing to listen and trust our Lord Jesus Christ?
God chooses ordinary people, like you and me, as his servants, ambassadors and he uses the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives and work situations to draw others into his kingdom. Jesus speaks the same message to us today: we will “catch people” for the kingdom of God if we allow the light of Jesus Christ to shine through us. God wants others to see the light of Christ in us in the way we live, speak, and witness the joy of the gospel. Paul the Apostles says, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ Jesus always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Cor. 2:15). Do you witness to those around you the joy of the gospel and do you pray for your neighbors, co-workers, and relatives that they may come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and grow in the knowledge of his love?
Fr. Peter Siwko
Arden Hills, MN