According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus called his first disciples away from their fishing fleets on this Sea on which today’s events take place.
It was a natural barrier between the Jewish side to the west and the Gentile side to the east. The Gospel of Mark, in particular, has Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat on a number of occasions. These crossings turn the Sea of Galilee into a bridge bringing Jew and Gentile together through Jesus’ preaching and healing activities.
Let’s looks closely at today’s Gospel scene. Jesus is teaching by the shore and the crowds press in on him. Jesus spots the boat of Simon and gets in it, and asks him to launch out a bit from the shore so that he can preach from there. When finished, he tells Simon to take the boat into the deep water and let down his nets. Simon is wary: “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing!”
These are the weary words of a veteran fisherman who knew how frustrating the sea could be. But there was something about Jesus that made him want to comply, so Simon let down his nets.
There are a number of lessons we learn from this encounter. When have I wanted to give up and why? What kept me going? When has the Lord surprised me?
Notice the strong link between listening and doing in today’s Gospel
Join Fr Russell Pollitt SJ as he reflects on the readings for the Fifth Sunday of the Year.
Read the texts in your Bible or hover your mouse over the references below to see the texts.
Isaiah 6:1-2,3-8; Psalm 137; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11
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