Thursday, September 1, 2016

"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do."

“Impossible is just a small word that is thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in a world they’ve been given to explore the power they have, to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It is a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing!” – Muhammad Ali: (1942 –2016: was an American Olympic and professional boxer)

Gospel Text: (LK 5:1-11)
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.

Peter is a professional fisherman, and a tired one at that, and his first response to the Lord shows what he thinks will happen; nevertheless, he puts himself and his crew into the Lord's hands and very simply does what the Lord asks him to do. 

This is trust and humility, but at root it is also and primarily faith.  An English Protestant evangelist of the 19th century, Oswald Chambers, once stated that “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.”  That is what is happening here, and it is at the root of why Jesus takes Peter to be one of those closest to him in his work and even in his passion.  Peter will love Jesus, will continually fail even after Pentecost, and yet will be the leader of the Twelve and of the Church. 

Can we have the same faith, the same love of the Lord?  Are we able to let our sins and our sinfulness not hold us back from doing what good we can in Jesus' Name --- or from turning back to him again and again when we fail?  

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