The Unexpected Catch: First Sunday of Luke

At that time, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And He saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, Jesus asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at Thy 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, 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. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish, which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him. St. Luke. (5:1-11)

fishJesus now has a crowd pressing against him, eager to hear his message. The crowd listens intently to his message. Jesus turns to those in the boat and asks them to cast their nets into the water, inviting them to enter into this new way of life; a life of sacrifice. Peter turns to Jesus and tells him how difficult the night has been. St. Peter has been fishing all night and has not been able to catch fish. But Peter says, “Okay, master if you say so, we will lower our nets again.” More was asked of them.

This story of the unexpected catch is full of the wisdom and love of God and it is offering an invitation to us. It captures the movement of God towards us, the incarnation. Jesus enters into the boat as He entered into this world and desires to enter into all who hear Him knock and open the door of their hearts to Him. But once He is in He intends to refashion what is there and it hurts, O man it hurts. But He can be trusted to not let us suffer beyond our powers of endurance. He is not tame but He is good. He is worth leaving everything for and following.



Filed under Scripture Rumination, Sundays, Feast Days, Other Days

2 responses to “The Unexpected Catch: First Sunday of Luke

  1. My Spiritual Father warned me before I started asking God to change me that He would have to clear out all the old bad luggage first. I guess that all that evil is in there somewhere, and it doesn’t want to leave. Still there is just the rest of my earthly existence to go – not long really – so He needs to move fast! It’s scary though, in a roller-coaster kind of a way.
    Still loving your Blog Fr. James.

  2. Lenore

    During the homily today, you mentioned that God didn’t seek people who were especially good/smart / etc. to cooperate, and wanting us to cooperate doesn’t imply need for our efforts. I was reminded of a sonnet by John Milton: “On his blindness:”
    When I consider how my light is spent
    Ere half my time in this dark world and wide,
    And that one talent which is death to hide
    Lodged in me useless, though my soul more bent

    To serve therewith my maker, and present
    My true account, lest He, returning, chide.
    “Doth God exact day labor, light denied?”
    I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent

    That murmur soon replies, God doth not need
    man’s works or His own gifts. Who best
    Bear his mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
    Is kingly: Thousands at his bidding speed
    And post o’er land and ocean without rest–
    They also serve, who only stand and wait.

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