Sunday, February 10, 2019

“True charity requires courage: let us overcome the fear of getting our hands dirty so as to help those in need.”

“Have the courage to go against the tide of current values that do not conform to the path of Jesus……..Pray for the courage and strength from our Lord to do this.” – Pope Francis

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.

The “do not be afraid” message is much more than simply a consoling word Jesus says to his special new set of friends.  Afraid of what?  It doesn’t matter!  The point is that Jesus is with us (along with Simon and his pals).  Ultimately, we need not be afraid since Jesus’ promise will make all the difference in the world.

Our call into service is a call to trust in Jesus’ promise, that despite my status paralleling Simon Peter’s “I am a sinful man,” I too am invited to give in to following him more closely.  What a joy!  We are fishers “of people” like the disciples.  Might this be the ultimate “fish story?”

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