The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
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. Mark Ian Abu):
In the Gospel, we see Jesus commanding Peter to lower the nets for a catch despite the whole night that they have spent fishing without catching anything. There is hesitation in the response of Peter to Jesus’ invitation. In the mind of Peter he might be asking, how come that this Man, a carpenter, will command me, a fisherman, in what to do in fishing? For Peter was a good fisherman and here is somebody, an expert on carpentry, who will tell him what to do. Peter can decide to take some rest and ignore the invitation of Jesus. Yet, Peter obeyed and he had a large catch.
There are many instances in our lives that we think we know everything, that we are very good. There are moments when we want to decide for ourselves and others should not intervene because we know that they are not expert in the matter. There are even times that we do not want others to know our plans and ideas so that they cannot meddle with us. Like Peter, we are sometimes very stubborn and hardheaded that we do not follow proper instructions and go on doing things in our own way. But Peter obeyed Jesus and let his pride be overcome by somebody’s expertise. Peter allows Jesus to intervene in his decisions and plans and do what He exactly commanded him. At the end, Peter got a large catch and he recognized the power of Jesus.
We have different status in life as well as our good plans for our future. Yet, God invites us to get rid of those plans and focus on His plan for us. God commands us today to be fishers of men; that is to bring people to Him. He asks us, like Peter; to lower our nets into deep water. We can do it on our own manner and by our skills and expertise but He demands for obedience to His plan. If we will do so, for sure we’ll have a great catch at the end. Will you obey God’s will today?