Luke 5: 1-11
Once, when he was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God.
He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.
When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.”
Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.”
It was no sooner said than done – a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.
Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, co-workers with Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him.
Today’s Gospel begins with Jesus getting into a boat and teaching the crowds from offshore. After he finished teaching, Jesus tells Simon to put out into deep water and to lower their nets. However, that was the last thing Peter wanted to hear. They had been fishing all day long and had caught nothing! Peter was tired and frustrated. He was ready to go home and rest. However, after a time Peter reluctantly says: “at your request I will lower the nets.” To Peter’s great surprise they caught so many fish their nets began to tear!
I would guess that most of us can identify with Peter! We too have times in our lives when it seems like we are not succeeding. We may be making great efforts to live life well. We may be working diligently and doing our best. However, these efforts don’t seem to bear much fruit. At these times, it is natural to get disheartened and frustrated! However, will we be open and respond to Jesus’ invitation to “keep lowering our nets?” Or will we say “enough is enough.” Or will we listen to his call, heed his voice and trust him? May we pray for the grace to have an open mind and a willing heart!