“Leaving behind everything and following the Lord!”
(Based on 1 Cor 3:18-23 and Lk 5:1-11 – Thursday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)
“Would you like to come along with me, for a short walk along the sea?
We could share some of our experiences of life…
… that would probably help us to live better!”
These are the words of Simon Peter, the Apostle of Jesus.
Saying a “Yes” to this invitation…
… let us now stroll along with Simon Peter, as he recounts, in first person, his experiences…
“Ah, so there you, my friend!
I am so happy that you have accepted my invitation.
Uh… by the way, be careful, as we walk along the sea…
…. ‘cos there might be some rough stones and thorny bushes.
Just mind your steps, as we walk along.
So, where shall I begin with?
Hmm… I guess I shall begin with my beginning itself…
… my beginnings with the Lord!
Let me start by saying that nothing much about my life before I encountered the Lord, is known to others.
But that itself, I feel, is a point of great reflection…
That unless we come to the Lord, our life is mere existence…
… nothing noteworthy, nothing special, nothing significant!
Only when we are in the Lord…
… do we have a meaning and purpose in life!
Only when we are in the Lord…
… can we say that our lives have a destination and a goal!
How I wish that many more discover Jesus as the purpose and objective of one’s life!
How I pray that followers of Christ may have more zeal to bring many to the love of Christ!
So continuing with my story – of my beginnings in the Lord…
How very fresh is the memory of that golden day in my life!
… The day the Lord came to me and called me to be His “fisher of men” (as we would read in the Gospel of my friend St Luke 5: 10)
My friend St Luke, told you in his Gospel narrative, 4:38-39, that my mother-in-law was healed of a severe fever.
This incident had brought great joy and hope to our family.
Somehow, (I probably guess so… though am not fully sure!)…
… that miracle had also sparked a sense of interest and liking in me, towards that Great Rabbi, Jesus!
He was already moving across streets in villages and towns bringing much healing and hope
He was also revealing God as a Father… as One Who was much closer and lovable and friendlier, than many of us traditional Jews had thought!
But the experience of that glorious day still lingers in my mind…
… so fresh… so gracious!
My Master had his large crowd of fans gathered around him.
It was such a privilege that my boat was used by the Master to stand and preach to the crowds!
Yeah, my simple boat became His Great Instrument of Evangelization!
… You can call it as the story of “Pauper Peter’s Plank transformed into the Precious Preacher’s Pulpit!”
After the great round of boldly proclaiming the Word of God…
… it was time for the Word to touch me!
The Master, with His powerful words reached out to me, “Put out into the deeper water and lower your nets for a catch!”
But of course, all of you do know that I am a very instinctual and impulsive man!
The “expert” in me protested and said, “We have worked the whole night and caught nothing!”
But this is where the Master “caught me”
That was the bait, by which I, the little fish, would be hooked by the Great Fisherman of Galilee!
I thought I knew everything about the seas… about fishing…!
But the Lord, the Creator of all…
… sliced through my inner being and exposed my weakness!
The miraculous catch of fish that followed was a lesson in humility and obedience!
I thought I knew everything… only to realize, that “human knowledge is foolishness before God’s Wisdom”
I felt I was an expert in my area of activity…
… only to realize that “human minds have to always bend before the One Who has shaped and created this entire universe!”
And so I cried out…”Depart from me, Lord! I am a sinful man!”
That was the beginning, of the end…
… the end of my pride
… the end of wanting “my way”
For it was also the beginning…
… of a new way of life for me!
Yes, God’s Mercy had touched me!
… and His Mercy had sparked me in a new vocation – the vocation to be “fishers of men!”
His Mercy would continue to accompany me, all through my life…
…. in times when I would act impulsively as the leader of the group
… in times when I would go on to betray my Master
… in times, when I would once again be called to follow the Lord after His Resurrection
… in times, when I would be instilled with hope to continue as His Vicar on the earth!
And so I strongly believe in this statement: “Mercy is the source and the strength of every vocation!”
Be it any vocation: Family life…. Consecrated Life…. Priestly Life… Celibate life…
Have you discovered the meaning and depth of this statement?
Check into your lives and see…
… so many are the acts of mercy of God in your life
… so many are the ways in which the Mercy of God has led you through
Perhaps, many times, you are not aware… many times, you have taken it for granted!
But look deeper… and surely you will find: Your life is a living witness of God’s Mercy!
And so, become aware that “Mercy is the source and the strength of every vocation!”
Hmmm… Are you still with me?
I guess, I do talk a lot, right?
Well, as you see, I do have tears in my eyes now… (tears of joy, of course!)
… and this would be the joy you too experience, when your life is touched by the Mercy of God
And you give yourself, entirely to Jesus, the Great Fisherman of Galilee…and my Hero!
Are you willing to leave everything and follow Him…
… just as I did?”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – “Do this in memory of me”
As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration.
They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. (CCC #1345)