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
they 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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord,
as we begin this meditation, I feel you have
stepped into my boat. I put out a short distance
from shore, away from all my daily concerns, to
listen to you alone. It is just you and I,
and I sense that you are going to ask
something of me. I am truly humbled and grateful
that you would spend so much personal time with me.
Petition: Christ, help me to understand and embrace your
call to holiness for me.
1. Teacher: Jesus taught by the
lake. We know that he taught in many other
places too: in the Temple, in synagogues, on mountains,
among children. Today he had a great crowd around him
by the lake. For these people, the lake was
everything: water, food, transportation, an object of beauty and
contemplation. Yet beneath its usually still and deep blue
surface, there was a whole other world unknown to them.
How appropriate that next to it, Christ, who could
probe its depths, uncovered for them the many mysteries
of faith and the divine plan! He can help us
understand so many things that are a part of
our daily lives, yet in many ways remain unfamiliar
or unintelligible to us.
2. Leader: It is one thing to
get the curious crowds to give you a moment
of their attention, but quite another to motivate people
to give you their dedication and their life. Christ knew
that to get someone to commit, directing an interesting
story to the general public would not be enough.
Personal attention was in order. Christ stepped into Peter’s
boat and asked him for a favor, a simple task:
“Put out a short distance from the shore.” Christ’s
first tasks are usually not that hard for us to
execute: simply material compliance and a little generosity. But
if we let him ride with us long enough,
he will eventually ask us for something that demands faith
and may go against our reason or personal comfort.
We want Christ to win us over for good,
but how can he do so if we don’t let
him take us for a ride “out into the
3. Motivator: Do I get surprised when Christ does
something marvelous in my life? Does astonishment seize me? Maybe
I’m not surprised. Maybe I am thinking what is
good or successful in me originates from myself. Proud
is the person who thinks so. Proud, too, is the
person who recognizes the hand of God and nevertheless
responds, “Leave me Lord, for I am a sinful
man.” Christ just performed a miracle through the obedience of
a sinful man; why can’t he do it again?
Why do I respond, “Leave me, Lord,” unless I’m not
ready to obey? When I call my partners to
come over and check it out, do I do so
to allow this experience of Christ to touch others?
Or do I do so to help them see
how greatly endowed I am? If I am to become
a fisher of men like Peter, I, too, must
purify myself from these all-too-human reactions. Don’t worry, my pettiness
doesn’t faze Christ. Listen to him: “Do not be
afraid. You will become…”
Conversation with Christ: So many
souls are hustling through this world without knowing where
they are going and without enjoying your friendship as
I do. I do not know if you want to
reach many or few of them through me, but
I think they are many. My heart is ready, O
Lord. Fill me with apostolic zeal.
Resolution: I will
work on being a good and positive motivator today.