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Fifth Sunday After Trinity, June 30, 2024

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Fifth Sunday After Trinity, June 30, 2024

Jesus has acquired quite a following (Lk. 5:1). He has received baptism by John in the Jordan (Lk. 3:21). He has endured the wilderness and the temptations of Satan (Lk. 4:1-2). He has taught in the synagogues of Galilee and has been glorified by his hearers (Lk. 4:14-15). He has preached the Word of God in Nazareth and received the first attempt on his life (Lk. 4:16-30). He has taught in the synagogue in Capernaum (Lk. 4:31), healed the man with an unclean spirit (Lk. 4:34), visited Simon’s house (Lk. 4:38) and healed his mother-in-law (Lk. 4:39). Jesus has acquired quite a reputation as a preacher of the Word of God, a teacher of the Word of God, and a healer of God’s people (Lk. 4:43-44). All this he has done before this occasion at the lakeshore.

There, on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, Jesus calls Simon and the other fishermen. Jesus speaks no “Follow me.” Instead, Jesus provides an acted-out example of the call to follow him. The fishermen have beached their boats and are now tending their equipment after a disappointing night of taking nothing. Jesus speaks to that situation, telling Simon to take the boat to deeper water and let down the nets. Simon protests but acquiesces. Immediately, the nets are filled with fish. This unusual and totally unexpected catch astonished all the fishermen and prompted repentance from Simon (vs. 8). Into the fishermen’s astonishment and Simon’s repentance, Jesus speaks. He speaks the biblical greeting when the divine confronts human beings, “Do not be afraid.” And then, Jesus speaks the words making this incident an acted-out example: “From now on you will be catching men” (vs. 10). And, when the boats had returned to land, “They left everything and followed him” (vs. 11).

The crowd had come to hear the word of God. The Word of God, Jesus Christ, had come to the lakeshore. At that lakeshore, God’s Word confronted the fishermen with such impact that they abandoned fish, boats, nets… everything. Their old life as fishers after a scaly catch had ended. Their new lives as fishers of men just begun.

Table Talk: Discuss the impact of this reading on your discipleship.
Pray: Father, grant me to leave the old behind as the new begins. Amen

Luke 5:1–11

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.