February 10, 2019: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: Luke 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.
This week Jesus needs a platform from which to teach the crowd and he chooses Peter’s boat to do so. Jesus’ instruction to Peter is to set out and lower his nets. Even as Peter objects, he agrees to do as he is requested.
As the nets are full to overflowing, we witness Peter’s conversion. He was afraid and felt unworthy in the presence of Jesus. Jesus offers words of comfort and calls Peter to service.
Conversion is not usually as sudden or unexpected as we witness in this passage.
Take time to look back on your own life and consider how you have grown in your faith life and service of Jesus.