Jesus Calls His First Disciples

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time

Luke 5:1-11

The fishermen had laboured all night in vain. Simon was probably tired, disappointed and Jesus entering his boat and giving a professional fisherman instructions about fishing might have been an irritating imposition. Nevertheless, Simon does what Jesus instructed him to do. 

Jesus works the miracle and Simon is surprised. In the midst of his ordinary daily grind, and in fact, after a particularly lousy night at work, he is encountered by one who changes everything. Amazed by the power of God displayed in the abundant catch of fish, Simon is immediately aware of his sinfulness and unworthiness. He sees the overwhelming disparity between God’s power manifest in Jesus and his own mortal, compromised life.

In today’s Gospel, we see that human sin, failure, and inadequacy are no obstacles to God’s call. God calls imperfect people to do God’s work, people who are aware of their unworthiness and are often doubting and resistant to God’s call. God doesn’t wait for them to become perfect. God calls them as they are and then works on making them into faithful servants.

All of us may not be called to give up our careers and sign up at the nearest religious vocation center but we are called to reorient our priorities. We need allow Jesus to take claim over our lives, trust in Him, even if things seem impossible or impractical. We need to be His witnesses in our daily mundane life by attuning our hearts and minds to His instructions. Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves.