Today's Gospel: Luke 5, 1-11 - Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, we meet Simon, before he becomes Peter. Peter is just a hard working fisherman, cleaning up after a hard day at work. I know that feeling. At the end of my day, I clean up my tools, I prepare the things I will need for the next day, and I just want to go home and be with my family.
Maybe that’s how Peter felt when Jesus walks up and asks to borrow his boat. I know that feeling too. There’s a baptism class at church and we need someone to teach it. There’s a confirmation retreat that needs help for the weekend. There’s a neighbor who needs a hand. And, like Peter, I’m okay with answering that call.
Jesus asks Peter to take him out onto the water so that He can teach the crowds. Jesus asks us to help make Him visible to the world around us. Usually, we are okay with that. It might take a little extra energy, but we know how to do it. Help make pancakes for the parish breakfast, volunteer to teach a second grade class, chaperone a high school lock-in. These are in our wheelhouse. No problem.
Then, Jesus asks us to do something crazy…
“I want you to put out into deep water and put the nets out.”
“Oh, c’mon Jesus, it’s late. We’re tired. You don’t know anything about fishing…there’s no fish in deep water. Let’s just go home. Fine, we’ll put the nets out…”
“I want you to write a book. I want you to work with the poor. I want you to feed the hungry. I want you to visit the sick and the imprisoned.”
“C’mon Jesus, really? That’s not my ministry. I know what I’m called to do. I hate hospitals; I would be horrible at that. I don’t even like kids…it’ll never work. Fine, I’ll do it.”
And then, the scariest thing in the world happens. Through Peter’s “yes,” his submission to the will of Jesus, there is a great success. Something that should have failed miserably and been a waste of time, through the power of God, becomes a miracle.
Then Jesus calls Peter to an even greater mission. He says, “I will take who you thought you were, and I will make you something new. You will not be fishermen; you will be fishers of men.”
Is there some way in which God is calling you to trust Him? Is He calling you to trust Him and do a little more? Is there something crazy He is asking you to do? Are you willing to be a little bit uncomfortable in order to see what God can make of you? What is one crazy thing you can try over the next week?
Lord, when I’m exhausted from doing my job and tending to my responsibilities, when I’m looking forward to coming home and resting, give me the strength to answer your call and the courage to try something that I never thought I would be able to do.
Copyright 2016 Scott Dougherty