The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.
Reflection (Sem. Randy D. Buquis)
The Gospel today shows Jesus inviting Simon and his companions to leave behind their livelihood of catching fish in the Lake of Gennesaret in order to be “fishers of men,” to enter the field of catching human beings through the preaching of the Gospel. The Gospel narrative also shows the definitive call of Peter.
I focus my reflection on God’s call which is a continuous process. We experience God not just once. We encounter Him many times in our life, challenging us to go deeper into faith and trust in Him.
I remember the time when I was still working. I did not have enough courage then to respond to the call of priesthood, because of the many considerations that I needed to attend to. There were times that I made myself busy, in order to avoid the different instances that I needed to entertain the call. I focused myself then on my work and, fortunately, I was sent to one of the main headquarters of our company abroad. I thought that it would be easy to escape, but God’s call continued after the many escapes that I made. I always prayed not to feel the same thing about the call. God’s call continued to wake me up and showed me a clearer path to take, that enabled me to be courageous to push through the vocation with the help of the grace and mercy of God.
For four years in the seminary, the call that I embraced was an everyday commitment that continued to deep. The seminary formation, especially my experience of the 30-day retreat, led me to see the goodness and the love of God in my entire life and vocation and it is what inspires me to keep going.