The Call of Simon the Fisherman (Luke 5:1-11)
Scripture: 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.
Meditation: I am there by the lakeside, in the morning hour. I see Jesus standing by the water, the crowds, the boats drawn up on the shore. The crowds press upon him to hear his teaching. I mingle with them; I listen as Jesus teaches…
Scripture: 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.
Meditation: “Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land.” I draw near…. And now I am present in the boat as Jesus and Peter speak…
Scripture: After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Meditation: I am with Peter, perhaps I feel moved to take Peter’s place… and I hear the Lord say to me, as to Peter: “put out into the deep.” Put out into the deep! Do not simply continue as you have until now but put out into the deep in your daily spiritual life, in living your calling…. The first request was not difficult: “he asked him to put out a little from the land.” The second is more demanding: “Put out into the deep….” I ask the Lord to show me where he is calling me to put out anew… to go deeper in my calling…
Scripture: Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”
Meditation: Peter expresses my own sense of helplessness: “we toiled all night and took nothing!” Months, even years of toil, and the same struggles continue….
Scripture: 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.
Meditation: But now the moment of grace arrives, the moment of faith, the moment of trusting the Lord’s word with courage: “But at your word I will let down the nets.” I ask the Lord to give me new courage, fresh trust in his word… so that I may take that new step… I see the astounding fruitfulness of this simple act of trust in the Lord’s word, in the Lord’s invitation to “put out” into the “deep”: the useless toil is transformed into an overflowing abundance… the nets are filled to breaking, the boats to their utmost capacity… My life too can change….
Scripture: When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
Meditation: Peter, sensing the closeness of God to him in Jesus, senses also his own sinfulness: Depart… I cannot be this close to the Divine….
Scripture: 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.”
Meditation: Jesus’ answer is immediate: “Do not be afraid.” Do not be afraid… I hear him say these words, again and again, to my heart, to me fear…… And he gives to Peter, gives to me, a sharing in his own mission of salvation: “From now on you will be catching men.”
Scripture: When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.
Meditation: They leave all and follow him….
Question to reflect on after Prayer
What word in this Scripture most spoke to my heart?
What touched my heart in this time of prayer?
What did I sense the Lord saying to me?
What was my most noticeable thought, feeling or desire while praying with the passage?
Did I notice God’s presence in any particular way? If I did, how would I describe that? If not, how did I feel about it?
Can I name one area in my life where the Lord is asking me to put out into the deep?
What do I need to leave behind in order to follow the Lord?