Here’s my reflection of today’s Gospel:
The First Disciples
1 Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
Humility to listen and act
Today’s passage takes place at Lake Gennesaret, which is also known as the Sea of Galilee and Lake Tiberias. It is here that Jesus calls the first disciples. Notice that they were at work! (*Reflection: What is Jesus saying to you as you work? Do you let Jesus into your work hours or do you log off until church hours?)
I remember a homily which explained the best time for fishing is at night. Therefore they were fishing all night and by now would be super tired. Now here comes along someone who was not a fisherman, telling them what to do. Note that Jesus tells them exactly what to do. It is not a vague instruction.
Simon’s reply shows his honesty and humility. It is his reply that struck me the most in this passage:
“Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” – Luke 5:5
It takes two
Two steps to being obedient to Jesus:
- Work hard
- Do as Jesus says
Work hard in your ministry. – What more can you do for your group or the community?
Work hard in your family. – Are you actively setting aside time to spend time with your family?
Work hard at your job. – Treat your work “as if working for God”.
Every part of your life basically.
But most importantly, work hard in building a relationship with the Holy Trinity.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord”
– Colossians 3:33
It takes two… You and Jesus
And like the disciples (at first), we might not see tangible fruits of our labour. We might get annoyed. We might be disappointed. We might feel confused because we worked so hard. It is especially in those ‘dry’ times of our life that we need to let Jesus in. [This is something I’m working on too. I find it easier to pray in good times and I find it really tough to pray (although I want to!) in difficult times.]
The good news is that Jesus will be with you, just like how He was in the boat with Simon. See that Jesus didn’t give instructions from the shore. He was with them and stayed with them as they acted in faith, on His words.
Changed by the Word
Talking about words, let’s backtrack a little. Notice that Jesus was speaking to the crowds from Simon’s boat. Perhaps could it be that Jesus’ teachings had touched the disciples’ hearts while they were listening to Him speak? This is the transformative power of the Living Word!
Whenever I’m feeling antsy or out of sync, I know immediately that it is because I have not been spending time with the Lord through prayer or reading the bible. The next time you feel easily agitated, distracted or restless – let it be in indication that you need to some time with the Lord. Like the red light on a car’s dashboard when the fuel is running low. Once you recognise your soul’s thirst for God, go to Him more frequently – seek Him in the Word.
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
– Jeremiah 29:13
In abundance & In service
Take a look at the great difference between going solo and going with Jesus.
Relying on your own strength & knowledge
Result: Exhausted. Working hard but not bearing fruit
Relying on Jesus’ strength & knowledge
Result: Transformed. Working hard and bearing fruit, in abundance and in service to God’s greater plan
Which path will you choose? It is pride sometimes, that makes me want to do things on my own. But I’ve learned that such a narrow-sighted path leads to burn-outs. Lean on the Lord instead, let Him be your guide and strength. Walking with Jesus will transform you: from weariness to joyfulness, from confusion to clarity and from storm to calm.
There are 2 results to reflect upon: In abundance and in service.
“When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them..” – Luke 5: 6-7
I was going to point out the obvious result (the great quantity of fish), but then I noticed that verse 7 almost prefigures (represents beforehand) what the disciples mission will be. Their new life in Christ comes with a new mission: To be fishers of men. To evangelise by their life, words and actions of faith, just as they did in verse 7. They called out to those in the other boat to come and help them. To help them in continuing the great commission:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28: 19-20
- Humility to listen and act
- It takes two:
- Working hard and listening to Jesus
- You and Jesus
- Jesus was with Simon and stayed with Simon while he acted in faith in Jesus’ words
- There is transformative power in the Word. Recognise your soul’s thirst for God and go to Him more frequently – seek Him in the Word.
- Walking with Jesus will transform you: from weariness to joyfulness, from confusion to clarity and from storm to calm.
- Your new life in Christ comes with a mission: To evangelise.
1st reading: 1 Corinthians 3:18-23
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 24:1-6
Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
[Writing this post took 4 hours. But reflecting on the Word is like chewing gum that never runs out of flavour 🙂 So thank you God and thank you dear reader for taking time to view this post.]
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