Fruitless fishing

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles September 07,2017
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Fruitless fishing

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles September 07,2017
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September 07, 2017
22nd Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Col 1:9-14
Gospel: Luke 5:1-11

One day, as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, with a crowd gathered around him listening to the word of God, he caught sight of two boats left at the water’s edge by the fishermen now washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a little from the shore. There he sat and continued to teach the crowd.

When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will lower the nets.” This they did and caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

They signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats almost to the point of sinking.

Upon seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and his companions were amazed at the catch they had made and so were Simon’s partners, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. You will catch people from now on.”

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Peter, James and John were no lousy fishermen; they knew their trade. Yet their expertise did not spare them from an unproductive all-night fishing. Then came Jesus, a carpenter, who told them where to throw their nets for a catch. They could have taken it for an insult. A carpenter dictating to fishermen how to catch fish? But they reacted positively by lowering their nets as instructed by a carpenter. Because of their faith they experienced surprises in their time of crisis.

Those fishermen had already tried throwing their nets in all directions and it was pointless giving it another try at the instruction of Jesus. But they shed off all forms of pride and heeded Jesus’ instructions. It was an act of humility moved by faith in the person giving the instruction.  With humility and faith, they arrived at the point of abundance.

In times of abundance people think only of themselves. But the Apostles called on their fellows to share the abundant catch. It was a spontaneous act of generosity springing from their faith and humility. Only faith in God’s providence can overcome the human fear of not having enough for tomorrow. Only humility can overcome man’s tendency to hoard what he claims to be exclusive fruits of his hard work.

All ended well for the apostles who submitted themselves to faith, humility and generosity. Our crises too can turn into surprises if we do likewise. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM

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