Introduction: Luke’s story of Jesus calling the first disciples is unique among the synoptic Gospels. While Mark and Matthew speak of Jesus walking along the Sea of Galilee and abruptly calling Simon, Andrew, James, and John to follow him (Matt 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20), only Luke tells the story of a miraculous catch of fish preceding the call, which perhaps was an emblem of the triumph of the Good News Jesus brought. So amazed by the abundant catch of fish, Simon was caught by surprise and immediately he was humbled by his unworthiness; the same way Isaiah in the first reading became aware of his frailty, Paul in the second reading also felt unworthy of his vocation he called himself imperfect and unworthy of being called apostles. But in spite of their unworthiness they became great announcers of the Gospel. Let us not allow our weakness to weak our witness to Christ. Your background should not put your back on the ground. If they made it we too can make it God has not change. Therefore, all Christians must do five important things to save humanity.
Reach out to People: The gospel confronts us with true missionary spirit. Jesus was in the synagogue in the previous chapter; now he is at the lakeside catching souls and of course eventually he will be preaching at the road side. Beloved in Christ true missionaries leave their comfort zone; they reach out to people, they go in search for the lost sheep. Many of the saints left their comfort zone to seek Christ and seek the lost. We must leave our comfort zone for the good of our souls. We must leave the supper room for the upper room in order to transform ourselves and others. We must resist certain pleasure so that we can offer good measure onto the Lord. In the same vein as we shall have our election on Saturday we must leave the comfort of our rooms to the polling unit to unseat the evil in our government in truth and sincerity. Let us evangelize irrespective of comfort. Therefore I say to you come forth from comfort. Don’t allow the comfort of this world to make you lose sight of the comfort of heaven.
Step aside and Reflect: This mission and vocation demand that each of us like in Lk.5:3-4 “put out a little away from the shore” in order to “put out into the deep water”. This is exactly the goal of our preaching. Every homily stands to set apart not for us to fall apart; but for us to make positive impact in the society. Again, in the Church we are called to put out a little away from the shore so that we can learn how to throw our net very well for a great catch. To put out a little is to step aside and reflect such reflection helps you to know how you have not been making impact, it helps to evaluate your life style so that you can come out with the best ways to throw your net so that you can touch and catch many souls. Therefore as a child of God in order for us to have a great catch we must deep ourselves into the water of prayer and reflection. Anyone who wants to do the extraordinary must do go an extra miles, to become a great man of prayer your prayer time must go beyond morning and evening devotion. To be a good doctor you must immerse yourself deeply into the waters of laboratory experiment. To be a good student you must throw your net into the deep water of studies and research. To be a holy man you must cultivate a deep interior life beyond superficiality. To be strong in faith you must put aside that mere devotion of one Our Father and one Hail Mary daily to Five decades of the Rosary daily.
NEVER GIVE UP: We have worked all night long but have caught nothing.(i) (Luke5:5). Fishermen do not give up fishing even if they work all night and catch nothing. We too must not give up our effort of eradicating our defects and sins. Even though we fail we must not give up; no matter the weight of your sin don’t give up, even though we repeat the same sin over and over again don’t give up. Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up. Like Simon we may have the tendency to give up in the face of failures; like Simon we may claim to be masters of our fields; we so much about our psychological disposition but we must listen to Jesus for instruction on how to succeed. Though Peter was an expert Jesus directed him on what to do.
Every one of us needs direction, irrespective of our expertise. Through spiritual direction we cultivate our interior life to always listen to Jesus to be able to stand the failures and challenges. Through spiritual direction we equip our skills with favour; through spiritual direction we ease the burden of our labour; through spiritual direction we throw the net of our destiny to greater manifestation; through spiritual direction we identify our vocation in life just as Peter realized that his vocation was to be fishers of men and not fishermen. Again, beloved in Christ, your desire in life may resemble each other life Fishers of men and fishermen but you need spiritual direction to know your actual vocation.
NEVER FORGET YOUR GOD: We have worked all night long but have caught nothing.(ii) (Luke5:5). Of course they caught nothing; have you not read in the scripture Psalm 127:1”Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” The psalmist is expressing the idea that seeking the will of God and acting in accordance with it is essential to the success of any human venture, and that, if God does not favour an undertaking, no amount of desire, precaution, effort, or worry on the part of those involved in it will be able to accomplish it. Psalm 34:10 says strong lion suffer want and go hungry; but those who seek the Lord lack no blessings. Beloved in Christ it is dangerous to begin any venture without God, if at all you an expert. Strong lion still go hungry; expert still fail. But those who put their trust in the Lord lack no blessing. Prov 16:4 says commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Beloved in Christ, God gives rest, peace, and protection to those acting in obedience to Him and in accordance with His will, no matter how many barriers to success seem to be in their way. Invite Jesus into your plan make him first and you will come out first. At this point you need to pray LORD JESUS COME AND EASE THE BURDEN OF OUR LABOUR, LORD JESUS COME AND EASE THE BURDEN OF THIS NATION WE HAVE TOILED ALL NIGHT AND CAUGHT NOTHING. LORD JESUS COME AND EASE THE BURDEN OF MY LIFE I HAVE TOILED ALL NIGHT AND CAUGHT NOTHING.
Renounce the world: They left everything and followed him. The Gospel says “they left everything”. This is a major theme in Luke’s Gospel, the theme of Absolute Renunciation. A disciple must leave everything: Lk.5: 11 “When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Him”. Lk. 14:26 Jesus says “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother […] and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Lk. 18:24-34 Jesus says to the rich man “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give the money to the poor, […] then come, follow me.” We too must leave everything; the Church is a place where we learn to leave everything; it is a place where we learn the true meaning of temporal goods. This week offers us another opportunity to renounce Satan and all his empty promises; to renounce materialism and greed, to renounce fake politicians and all their empty promises so that we can have him in abundance. God bless his words in our hearts. Amen