Reflection on The Gospel of Luke 5:1-11:  5th Sunday after the Epiphany:  Feb 6, 2022

The Gospel of Luke 5:1-11

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Let us Pray: O Lord, never depart from us. Though we are unworthy of You and Your bounty, You are pleased to receive our meager thanks and reluctant obedience for the sake of Christ’s perfect obedience. Let Your Word rule us and Your Spirit revive us to leave behind pride and anxiety alike, that we may follow You in all we do; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

If The Lord was to approach you, would you follow or be like Simon and confess to the Lord that you are not worthy? Simon’s first reaction when Jesus approached him was: I am not worthy of being in your presence because I am a sinner. His response to Simon Peter’s immediate reaction was not to turn away from him or to find someone who was not as sinful to follow him, rather it was simply to tell him “Do not be afraid.” Again, we hear Jesus using these words. Words He used many times to ensure them that there was no reason to be afraid. Like the time he approached them as He walked out to the boat, Also, when he comforted Paul at the synagogue in Corinth. And remember The Angel Gabriel told Mary: “Do not be afraid” So, if we decide to follow Jesus remember His words. “Do not be afraid”.  Jesus was not teaching to only the holy and pious. Rather, he was teaching the Word of God in public, in a boat, to anyone who will listen. He went out into the world to teach, knowing that many of these people were, in fact, sinful.

I would guess that most of us can identify with Peter! We too have times in our lives when it seems like we are failing. 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, frustrated worried and afraid! 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 and not be afraid? So, as you go through life what things scare you and make you afraid or concerned. When you are in that state, do you ask Jesus and listen to Him as He says to you “Do not be afraid”? He is there to give you support. He only asks that you do not deny or reject Him. That you believe in Him. And no matter how far we may stray Jesus will never see us as unworthy. It becomes our call as Christians and followers of Jesus to spread this message. Jesus knows we are not perfect human beings, but we can answer the call to spread the Good news.  If you become a true disciple, there are costs, but the results are well worth it. The reward far outweighs the cost. This is what Simon and his companions realized, and this is why they left everything and followed Christ. They were already believers. They had already believed in Jesus. Now Jesus was calling them to much more. Jesus was calling them to become a disciple, and they answered the call with a resounding YES!

Are you willing to answer the call?

When you are not with Jesus do you find yourself lost? Simon Peter did, after the crucifixion of Jesus he found that he could think better by falling back to his old routine. He always found he could think better when he was fishing. So that is what he did. He and his buddies fished all night, but once again, they didn’t catch anything. And then, just as dawn was breaking, it was déjà vu. A man appeared on the shore, and yells out, “Have you caught anything?” “No.” Simon Peter yells back. “Just some seaweed and sticks.”

“Try throwing your nets on the other side of the boat” the man hollers back. Simon Peter rolls his eyes. Who does this guy think he is? Jesus? Again, they had a record catch, and Simon Peter knew it was Jesus.

He needed to be with Jesus. Simon Peter had gone back to fishing, but he found that nothing in the entire world compared to being with Jesus. And Simon Peter became one of the greatest fishers of men the world has ever seen. And it’s all because of the time when Jesus said, “Come follow me” Peter responded with, “Yes, I will.”

This story is about working together. Jesus working with us. We don’t make it on your own. We follow and do it together. We cannot be Christians on our own. We cannot go it alone. Faith challenges the loneliness of going it alone and the feeling of doom. Jesus is always near promising we are never alone and not to be afraid.

Let us Pray: Loving God, you have called forth disciples and prophets to live and speak your word. Give us ears to hear, lives to respond, and voices to proclaim the good news of salvation, which we know in our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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