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Luke 5:1-11

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way 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 the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.' Simon answered, 'Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.' When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, 'Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!' For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.' When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Luke 5:1-11
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Peter recognised who Jesus was and realised that being close to Jesus would make demands on him. Jesus recognised who Peter was and saw that Peter had the capacity to respond to what he might ask of him. Jesus invited Peter to use his practised skill in a new way, for the good of the gospel. I lay my skills and talents before Jesus, asking him to show me how I might use them for good.
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    • God uses the ordinary experiences of life to draw people to him. The gate of heaven is always open, to everyone. Why then should I ever become despondent about people – perhaps in my own family circle - who do not practise their religion?
    • Are we not living through an exciting time? The Churches must shed their skins, become humble and grow in grace. They must break free to celebrate the God of new beginnings. Lord, at your word we will let out the nets into the deep waters of our lives.
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    • ‘Put out into the deep water’. I fear the unknown just as I fear the sea, for I can’t swim. So I pray for Peter’s faith when I’m asked to ‘let down my nets’ into unknown territory.
    • Don’t go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful person and I need you so much.
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    • An adventure is about to unfold, an encounter that is radical and life-changing. Simon the fisherman, called by Jesus to go beyond his comfort zone, puts the boat of his life out into deep waters. His faith and trust is rewarded abundantly. From that moment forward his entire life is hooked on Jesus.
    • Lord, you call me daily to an adventure of faith with you. You are the captain of the boat of my life, and I am your crew. Grant me the courage to take risks, knowing that you are always with me.
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    • Peter knew his unworthiness; to follow Jesus closely seemed too much to ask. He forgot that his discipleship was not his own idea - it was Jesus who called him as friend. I try to shift my focus from what I believe, what I think so that I might appreciate more just how lovingly God looks on me, knows me, loves me and calls me to draw closer.
    • Am I called to leave the security of the shore, to put out into the deep?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Peter invited Jesus into one of his most precious and important possessions – his boat. This was the means of his livelihood and gave him status among the others. Peter also allowed Jesus tell him where to fish, handing over control of this boat and his own life to Jesus. In prayer we invite Jesus into the most personal and important places of our lives. We also allow him take possession of us, giving all that we can to him. From Peter’s boat, he spoke to the crowds; from our lives he speaks to people today.
    • Did Peter really like Jesus taking over his boat? The boat was one of a fisherman’s most valued assets. It probably smelt of fish and maybe was not the best boat in Galilee. Jesus chose to get into Peter’s boat to speak to the crowds. We take this as asking Peter to allow him into his life, and that very soon Peter’s whole life would be for Jesus, as today his boat would be at Jesus’ disposal.
    • Nowhere else in the Gospels is a confession of one's sinfulness the first reaction of someone who meets Jesus and is called to discipleship. When Levi, the tax collector, is called to discipleship he throws a party! Could it be that the story of the catch of fish (John 21:1-14) has been projected back by Mark into Jesus' ministry, and that Peter's awareness of his sinfulness arose from his having denied Jesus three times during the Passion?