You have been called and chosen”

Rev Dr. Vitalis Anaehobi

Rev Dr. Vitalis Anaehobi

 

  1. 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(Lk5:1-11). Taken from today’s gospel, 5th Sunday C.

  1. The three readings of this Sunday convey one central message: God chooses the weak and they become strong. We have the story of the call of Isaiah, the vocation of Paul and the call of Peter. Each of these three were not on the right path when God, out of his own initiative decided to call them to his service. Having responded positively to the call they became great and strong messengers of God. The gospel tells the story of men whose expertise failed. They spent the whole night fishing but caught nothing. This has been their occupation and they know the work well. That very night their projections proved abortive. In the morning the frustrated men sat patiently cleaning their net that caught nothing. Jesus needed a rostrum for his homily and Peter in spite of his disappointment volunteered his boat for Jesus.
  2. To show his appreciation for Peter’s generosity and patience Jesus asked him to cast his net into the water for a catch. As an expert Peter reminded Jesus that fishes are easier caught at night than in the day time and that they could catch nothing that very night. He however complied with the instruction of Jesus saying: at your order I will cast the net even though we caught nothing at night.” Surprisingly it worked out. Contrary to their expectation they had the biggest catch of their life.

  3. Peter’s reaction was insightful: “Depart from me for I am a sinner.” He immediately realized there was something divine in Jesus which his sinful personality cannot partner with. But Jesus saw it differently. He does not want the perfect. He wanted simple trusting and generously patient sinners to be his companions. Such people are teachable and can accept to cast their net even at noon. Consequently he addressed a special call to Peter: do not be afraid that you are a sinner. I need people like you. Henceforth it is men that you will be catching and no longer fishes.”

  4. The quantity of fish that peter caught already made him a rich man if he were to sell them. Interestingly he left everything there for others and followed Jesus. Everyone that responded to the call left something behind because of a greater good which they see in God. Isaiah was a promising young politician, Paul was a rising young pharisees whose position was already assured in the religious hierarchy of his time. He gave it up too. These men became the best of their types by surrendering totally to God. St. Paul would declare:”But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ”(Phil3:7-8). They made a choice and were committed to the mission. God on his part sustained their effort.

  5. Like Isaiah, Paul and Peter, you too are an imperfect being, stained with sin and inordinate ambitions but God has called you on the day of your baptism to be his servant. Know that there are things that God cannot do in the world today if you do not accept to do them. Stop taking yourself for a nobody. You are a great instrument in the house of God. Respond generously to his call and you will do exploits not only for the visible kingdom of God, the Church but also for the entire human race. “You have been called and chosen, work all the harder to justify your call”(2Pt1:10).

©Vita, 06/02/22.

anaehobiv@yahoo.com

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