September 1, 2016
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. Rodel D. Aclan)
Any miraculous healing, escape from a deadly situation or accident and other events that cannot be given any scientific explanation would normally aroused our faith and immediately associate it to God. Miracles have been our criteria in determining or in believing for something if it is divine or not.
In the Gospel reading today Simon who is also called Peter was a witness and a recipient of a miracle from Jesus. To catch a great number of fish after several failed attempts during the day is indeed a miracle; miracle that brought him to his knees before Jesus because he realized that Jesus is the Lord.
Reflecting on today’s Gospel, I asked myself: is it only the miracle that made Simon (Peter) recognizes the Lord and eventually made him decide to follow Him. If yes, then I ought to witness a miracle before I believe in Jesus otherwise I might just believe any other person or persons who can do a miracle. But I think, the miracle of catching a great number of fish is but just a part of the whole encounter of Simon with Jesus that made him realize his unworthiness before Jesus. Simon had been hearing the words of Jesus as He teaches the people from his boat. He was soaked in the His words.. And I think this is the primary reason why he recognized that Jesus is the Lord.
I remember the summers of my childhood. My auntie, who was a catechist, would gather the children in our neighborhood including us her nephews and nieces under a mango tree to be taught. I learned to pray the rosary during that time and some formula prayers like Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. But I admit that I did not really understand what we were doing then. However, I can say that those days in my childhood had an important impact in my life. I felt that it gave direction to my life. When I grew up, I slowly understand the meaning of what we were doing before and they mean to me as an adolescent and now as an adult. What I heard before is now my faith, the Truth that I believed in.