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 the boats 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.” (Lk 5:4-8)
We all know those kinds of people, don’t we? The ones who want what they want when they want it? And they make all sorts of noise and bellyaching if they do not get what they want.
We not only know those kinds of people.
So often, we are those kinds of people.
We are that way with God as well.
Today’s Gospel is a wonderful story about the Lord’s call to some of His Apostles.
Jesus saw Peter and some of his business partners coming in after a long night’s fishing. Jesus asked if they had caught anything. When He heard that they hadn’t, Jesus told them to throw the nets over the side to bring in some fish.
You could practically see the ridicule in Peter’s eyes: “Hey, you might be the master teacher; but, we’re master fisherman. We say there’s no fish in this water. And, to prove you wrong, we’ll throw our nets over.”
So they threw the nets.
However, instead of coming up empty — after all, there should not have been that many fish that close to shore — they need another boat to come out and both boats almost capsize for the number of fish brought in.
That is when Peter’s selfishness, his sinfulness, his need to be the one in charge stared him in the eyes and brought him to his knees. He drops in front of Jesus and begs Jesus to leave him — for, Peter was a sinner.
But Jesus had better things in mind. He was going to channel Peter’s energy into bringing others to God.
There are many times that we, too, have epiphanies when we realize that there truly is a God and that He is in charge of all. We are humbled by that reality and ashamed of our sinfulness. We, too, often beg Him to leave us alone.
But, as He did with Peter, Jesus has better things in mind for us as well.
FAITH ACTION: Find some time to be by yourself in prayer today. While there, ask the Lord the simple question: “What do you want of me?” Be open to a response. If you truly mean it, He will let you know what He wants.