In this Sunday’s Gospel we will listen as Simon Peter is transformed from a fisherman to a Disciple and we will think about what it means to follow Christ. Peter had spent a night fishing without any joy – there were no fish to be caught and it was likely that he would return home hungry and with no means of earning money; but on the shore, Jesus was waiting and told them to try again. Despite being certain that there were no fish to be had that night, Peter listened and tried once more and, this time, they returned with nets full of fish.
It was a definite miracle but also the turning point for Peter – after all, if this man knew how to ensure he caught a full load of fish what more wonderful things were possible? In that moment, Peter decides to lay down his nets and follow Jesus. And for many, this Gospel remains a great example of how following Jesus can lead us to fulfilled and happy lives.
We all have desires and wants – Peter wanted a full load of fish – we may want a new car, a job with a fantastic wage, a birthday party with a huge cake and lots of presents; and yet, what we learn as we travel through life is that these wants are transitory and fleeting. We may get the huge cake and the mound of presents, we may get the new car or the great pay rise but these things on their own won’t guarantee us happiness. Indeed, a car with nowhere to go is just a thing on wheels and a pile of presents is nothing compared to real friends. As Christians we make the commitment to follow Jesus and, just as Peter laid down his fish and never returned, we commit to making choices in Jesus’ name. It doesn’t mean we can’t have a party or a new car, but it means that above all that, we recognise and value the more meaningful things. We love, we forgive, we share, and we spread Jesus’ message to all. By choosing to follow Jesus we are instantly rewarded with fuller, happier hearts and lives.
Luke 5:1-11 (ESV)
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
Did you know that every week we send home The Wednesday Word? This is your chance to read the Gospel for the coming Sunday together as a family – we send it home in a child friendly format and it includes activities and puzzles and ideas for discussion and prayer.