From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: Luke 5:1-11 Simon Peter leaves his fishing boat to follow Jesus.
Summary: The call of Saint Peter comes in a very ordinary manner, especially in comparison to Isaiah’s call in today’s first reading. Saint Peter’s call comes in the midst of a normal day under normal circumstances. Peter had just finished a night of fishing, where he caught nothing, when Jesus invites him and his fellow fishermen to put out into deep water and lower the nets. After Peter does this, the nets are filled with fish. Like Isaiah, Peter also felt unworthy of his call, yet it is important to remember that God calls us just as we are and works with us wherever we are in life.
Scripture: Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
One day Jesus was standing by the sea of Galilee. A large crowd of people started to gather around him. He saw some fishermen nearby who were cleaning and mending their nets so he climbed into one of their boats. He asked one of the men whose name was Peter, to put the boat out a little way from the shore. Jesus sat in the boat teaching the people. When he had finished teaching, Jesus said to Peter, “Put the boat further out into the deep water and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “We’ve been fishing all night long and haven’t caught a thing, but if you say so, we will let down the nets one more time,” Peter answered.
An amazing thing happened! When they started pulling the nets up, there were so many fish that the nets began to break. As they pulled the fish into the boat, there were so many fish that the boat was beginning to sink. When Peter and his fellow fishermen saw this, they were astonished and even a bit frightened. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
The Bible tells us that they pulled their boats up onto the shore, left everything, and followed Jesus. From that day on, Peter and his friends fished for people and brought many into God’s kingdom. Jesus wants you and me to fish for people too. If we will be faithful in telling people about Jesus and his love, we can trust Jesus to bring in the catch!
Dear Jesus, help us to be good fishers for people –faithful to go, patiently waiting, and trusting you to bring in the catch. Amen.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life. Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: Who do you know that shows God’s love and power through acts of kindness, courage, or charity?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
Oh, the Places you’ll Go
Written by Dr. Seuss
Family Discussion: In the people whom Jesus chose to be his closest friends—his disciples—we see many of the characteristic foibles of ordinary human beings. We also see the ways that God uses the gifts he gave us to transform us into new people, the agents through whom God will lead others to Jesus and to his kingdom. Let’s consider the person Jesus chose to be a leader among the disciples and whom he sent to “catch people.” Based on the evidence found in Scripture, we can imagine what Peter must have been like:
- Peter seems unafraid to speak his mind, yet he is also able to take direction. In today’s Gospel, Simon Peter lowers his nets as Jesus commands, but not before reminding Jesus that he and his partners have been fishing all night and haven’t caught anything.
- Peter is a leader, a spokesperson for others. Today’s Gospel suggests that Simon Peter was a leader in his fishing business. When Simon Peter chooses to follow Jesus, others become Jesus’ disciple as well.
- Peter’s personality and charisma seem to make him the center of attention; yet Peter learned to be transparent, to let others see Jesus through him.
- Peter possesses a dynamic and open relationship with Jesus. Peter often approaches Jesus and speaks what is in his heart.
Gather as a family and spend some time imagining the person of Simon Peter. Encourage family members to tell details about Simon Peter that they recall from Scripture. Consider these questions: Is Peter someone you would like to be friends with? Why or why not? Do you consider Peter a good leader? Why or why not? Read aloud today’s Gospel, Luke 5:1-11. Jesus chose Simon Peter to be the leader of the disciples. Peter continued to be a leader in the early Christian community; we continue to speak of Peter’s leadership when we call the pope the successor of Peter. Discuss the role of the papacy and of other leaders in the Church. In what ways do we participate in the mission of the Church by leading people to Christ (“catching people”)? Pray for those who lead the Church. Pray together the Prayer to St. Joseph, the Protector of the Church