Gospel Reading for Today Luke 5:1-11
Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
He got into one of the boats - it was Simon's and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch'. 'Master,' Simon replied 'we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets for a catch.' And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.
When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, 'Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.' For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. But Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid; from now on it is people you will catch'. Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.
Our Thought For Today is by Jane Mellett called 'Put out into the deep'
Jesus is preaching at Lake Gennesaret (the Sea of Galilee) in today's Gospel. This is Luke's account of the calling of the First Disciples which takes place in the context of a miraculous catch of fish. Jesus is using Simon's boat as a sort of platform from which to address the crowds who had gathered around him. Already Jesus is gaining popularity and the crowds are 'pressing' near to him. Clearly they see something in Jesus that is attractive and fulfilling.
Simon is most likely being polite when he agrees to try again for a catch, possibly thinking that Jesus should leave the fishing to the professionals. Simon obeys, takes the risk, lets go of his pride, and the result is an overwhelming catch of fish. It can be hard to trust others at times; it can be difficult to let go of what is familiar to us. We are constantly being challenged to do this. The big challenge is to trust that God knows what God is doing and is constantly urging us to pull away from the shore.
'A boat is safe in the harbour; but this is not the purpose of a boat'. ~ Paulo Coelho
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