Gospel: Lk 5:1-11
One day, as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, with a crowd gathered around him listening to the word of God, he caught sight of two boats, left at the water’s edge by fishermen, now washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a little from the shore. There he sat, and continued to teach the crowd. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will lower the nets.” This they did, and caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. They signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came, and they filled both boats almost to the point of sinking. Upon seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and his companions were amazed at the catch they had made, and so were Simon’s partners, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. You will catch people from now on.” So they brought their boats to land and followed him, leaving everything.
It is a daring move to leave everything and to risk one’s life with someone calling you to follow him. One needs a beneficial motive to turn away from a lifetime’s work and venture into an unknown future. Fishing is what Simon Peter knows. It is his path to daily bread and what really matters to him. He has his boat, his nets, his friends. When Jesus and his crowd turn up on the beach, there may have been nothing but a little more than a distraction – a crowd listening to Jesus interested to listen to his teachings and Simon Peter had no time for that. He had a fruitless night and he needed to wash these useless nets. He is tired and ready to sleep. He will need renewed strength to throw them all again tomorrow. So it must have seemed strange when Jesus climbed aboard. The request to try again to fish may have seemed even stranger. It is enough to make a tired man laugh. Something tells Simon that this is worth the risk. The boat moved and the nets lowered, filled, and all too soon there are two boats at risk of sinking under the catch of the day. Simon’s initial response is to send Jesus away. Simon is now only conscious of the distance between himself and Jesus. Simon has touched the nearness and grace of God and has made him aware of his unworthiness: ‘Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!’ Jesus understands what is happening. Fear can make a person reject another. And so, embracing Simon’s hesitation and fear, Jesus responds with an invitation to follow him and from now on he will be catching people.’ And so Simon and his companions leave everything behind and begin a new life-project.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018