A reading from the gospel according to Luke 5:1-11:
1 While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
2 He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
3 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.
4 After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
5 Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”
6 When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing.
7 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.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
9 For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him,
10 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.”
11 When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.
Reflection: Try it one more time
Simon and his partners are expert fishermen because it is their livelihood. They knew where and when to get a catch of fish. Yet one particular night they got nothing. However in their despondent moment, Jesus was there to tell them to try one more time and to do it in the deep part of the water. Though they hesitated initially, they obeyed. The result was a huge catch that they never experienced before. Peter’s reaction was to kneel at the feet of Jesus recognizing his unworthiness.
Many people have various experiences of working so hard only to be drowned in debt year after year. Some go into business only to meet failure. Yet a lot of other people have shown that by trying again and again and learning from their past mistakes, they succeeded in achieving their goals in life. To these people, failure is a stepping stone to success.
In the gospel reading above, Jesus is teaching us not to be disappointed. If only we deepen our relationship with Him by listening and obeying His commands, He will show us where and even when to be successful. Not only that, He will give meaning to our life and a clear understanding of our mission in life. He has also shown us that there is a more important endeavor than just catching material successes and that is catching people and leading them to His kingdom. This means success in relating to people so that, though we are unworthy, we can make them see Christ in us.
For further reflection on this gospel passage, go here.