Fishers of Men-A A +A
The Good News
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
THE Sunday gospel narrates the story on the calling of Simon Peter, James and John as Jesus’ apostles.
“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’ For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him (Luke 5:1-11).”
Reflection No. 1: At an appointed place and time Jesus comes into the boat of our lives. Of all the places where Jesus could have gone that day, why did he go to the Lake of Gennesaret? Of all the boats on the lake why did Jesus choose to get into the boat of Simon Peter? And of all the days of the year, why did Jesus decide to preach there then? There must be a reason for everything. Those were the appointed place and time for Peter and his friends to be called by the Lord. And so is it in our own lives. Somewhere, sometime, God’s special visitation will come, not by accident but by Divine will.
Reflection No. 2: When it comes to God’s calling, obedience is the only proper response. When Jesus got into Peter’s boat he instructed him to put it out a little more from the shore. Peter obeyed. Not that difficult to do so. But after Jesus taught, he gave another instruction: “Put down into the deep water and let down the nets.” Not that easy anymore. Why? Because the order sounded illogical. Peter, the expert fisherman, knew that it would be better to catch fish at night and near the shore. But even in doing so, that night they did not catch anything. Now the order is on the contrary – fish at the deep and at broad daylight.
Reflection No. 3: Obedience brings in untold rewards. What was Peter’s response to the seemingly illogical second instruction? Again he obeyed. And what was the result? They caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break! God’s wisdom is always higher than human intelligence.
Reflection No. 4: Witnessing the goodness of God makes us realize our unworthiness. Tasting the goodness of Jesus, Peter became conscious of his own sinfulness. Falling at his knees, he begged Jesus to go away from him. Imperfect man as he is, he felt unworthy to stand before the perfect God.
Reflection No. 5: Obedience and repentance bring about a higher calling. Apparently, Jesus forgave Peter and his friends. And in doing so, he gave them a new mission: to become fishers of men. That day, Peter, John and James had the best catch of their lives… not the fish but the long, intimate and fruitful relationship they have found with the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 07, 2013.