For our meditative assimilation of today’s Word of God, I would like to draw your attention to eight different phrases or sentences from Gospel reading of today and articulate some questions that the text raises.
First) The crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear the word of God (Lk 5: 1). In the book of Prophet Amos, chapter 8, verse 11 God says: “The time is surely coming, … when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” What are you hungering for? Do you hunger for the word of God?
Second) He sat down and taught the crowds from the boat (Lk 5:3). God is interested in teaching you. In Isaiah chapter fifty-four verse thirteen God says: “I myself will teach your people and give them prosperity and peace.” God is sitting by your side. God is teaching you. Are you listening to him? What is he teaching you? Are you learning from God or from some ungodly sources?
Third) Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. The nets were what Simon and the other disciples possessed. It was what gave them security. Simon is asked to let down the nets. Only by letting down the nets he would be able to have a great catch. What are the nets you am holding on to? In what do you put your security? What are the nets that you have to let down?
Fourth) They signalled their partners in the other boat. Simon’s nets were full. He had something to share. So he called the others. When you let down your nets what do you experience? What is the good news that you have to share with others?
Fifth) Simon fell down at Jesus’ feet and he said, “I am a sinner.” When Simon encountered the Lord he became aware of his own sinfulness, and like the Publican he confessed, I am a sinner. How do you see yourself when you come before the Lord.
Sixth) Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.” This is an exhortation that is found many times in the Bible. Some say that it is repeated in one form or other about 145 times in the Bible. Do not be afraid. Fear not. What are you afraid of? What are you fearing? Can you let down your fears, at the words of Jesus, “Do not be afraid?”
Seventh) From now on you will be catching people. What are you spending your time and energy for? On accumulating material things? Jesus is inviting you to invest time in building people, in bringing people to him.
Eighth) They left everything and followed him. They left their boats. They left their nets. Those things were very dear to them. They left them, and followed him. In order to follow him, you have to leave something, you have to give up something. What is it that you have to let down, and let go?
Let us conclude with a prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me. Thank you for sitting by my side to teach me. Thank you for making me realize what it is that I have to let down. Thank you for reassuring me: Do not be afraid. Thank you for calling me to follow you. Lord, in the words of Isaiah I respond: “Here am I; send me!” Praise and glory to you, Lord. Amen.