February 10, 2013 – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Exhausted, they pulled their boats to shore. The long night of fishing had produced nothing substantial and they still had to wash their nets before they could return home for rest and nourishment. Though disappointed, the professional fishermen were used to nights such as this.

I can only imagine how Simon felt when Jesus crawled into his boat and asked him to take him out a bit so he could preach to the crowd. He probably wondered how long Jesus intended to speak to the people. How long would it be before he could go home and put this frustrating night behind him? I’ll bet the last thing he wanted to do was spend more time in his boat not catching fish. But he obeyed.

At last, Jesus finished preaching but instead of being able to row ashore, Simon was asked to go to deeper water and cast out his nets. They had already spent a whole night out there and Simon knew there were no fish to be caught, especially at this time of day. He had learned many things from Jesus, but the last thing he needed anyone to give him advice about was fishing. He complied anyway and dropped his nets. I’m sure he expected that soon he would be pulling in another empty net, making his way to the shore and cleaning it. Again.

But instead, the impossible happened. There were more fish than he could handle, and Simon had to call out to his friends for help. Jesus rewarded Simon’s obedience with a miracle. No one realized the magnitude of the miracle more than Simon and his fellow fishermen, and they felt unworthy to be in Jesus’ presence. But Jesus surprised them again and asked them to leave everything and follow him.

This is a recurring theme of all of this Sunday’s readings. A miracle is witnessed, the viewer feels unworthy to have witnessed such a phenomenon, and all were asked to use their experience to do God’s work.

Sometimes we are asked to do things we feel are completely unnecessary or pointless. But we must remember that we only see the part we will play in this scenario. God sees the whole picture and when we faithfully obey, we will be rewarded.

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