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The call of Simon the fisherman

 

Gospel Reading: Lk 5:1-11

 

WHILE 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.

 

Reflections: From now on you will be catching men

Jesus changes the course of Peter’s life. Like Jesus, he will catch no longer fish but people. Jesus finds Peter an asset in bring­ing people to God. Peter has the qualities to do this. First, before Jesus calls him, Pe­ter shows himself to be a responsible lead­er, working with other fisherfolk. With his hands he labors with others and has busi­ness partners. Second, Peter has some ini­tial input about Jesus. He may have heard other people tell stories about Jesus’ pow­er. Jesus comes to his house and heals his mother-in-law. Third, at close range, Peter has personally heard Jesus speak in his turf, the Lake of Gennesaret, and seen how the crowds are attracted to him. Fourth, Peter has the ability to obey, even if he thinks he knows better. At Jesus’ word, he puts out into the deep and lowers his newly washed net. Fifth, Peter properly interprets mira­cles. He sees himself a sinner, unworthy of the Lord, after the big catch.

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

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