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September 01, 2022

Lk 5: 1-11

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. 

Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”

When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

How Do We Respond?

One of the joys of teaching is that my students give me an opportunity to be more mindful about Bible passages I have taught many times. One reflection that my recent students raised about this passage is why Simon Peter reacts the way he does. What does sin have to do with fish? Why does he think of his own sin in this miraculous moment?

I answer that we can use Ignatian imagination to put ourselves in Simon Peter’s place. We can think of a time when we have been joyfully surprised by the impossible, especially in a situation where we thought we knew exactly what was going to happen. We can imagine first wondering how this could possibly happen to someone like us, or how we could ever deserve it. And we can see Jesus responding to our first negative thought with a smile and an invitation. Stay with me and see, Jesus says. It gets even better than this. 

—Beth Franzosa is a Religious Studies teacher and the Director of Adult Formation at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis.  

 

Prayer 

Lord Jesus, I think you have put a desire in me.
If you will help me, please,
I would like to make my offering:
I want it to be my desire, and my choice,
to live my life as you lived yours.

Excerpt from a prayer by Joseph Tetlow, SJ, adapted from the Call of the King in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius


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September 01, 2022

Lk 5: 1-11

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. 

Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”

When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

How Do We Respond?

One of the joys of teaching is that my students give me an opportunity to be more mindful about Bible passages I have taught many times. One reflection that my recent students raised about this passage is why Simon Peter reacts the way he does. What does sin have to do with fish? Why does he think of his own sin in this miraculous moment?

I answer that we can use Ignatian imagination to put ourselves in Simon Peter’s place. We can think of a time when we have been joyfully surprised by the impossible, especially in a situation where we thought we knew exactly what was going to happen. We can imagine first wondering how this could possibly happen to someone like us, or how we could ever deserve it. And we can see Jesus responding to our first negative thought with a smile and an invitation. Stay with me and see, Jesus says. It gets even better than this. 

—Beth Franzosa is a Religious Studies teacher and the Director of Adult Formation at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis.  

 

Prayer 

Lord Jesus, I think you have put a desire in me.
If you will help me, please,
I would like to make my offering:
I want it to be my desire, and my choice,
to live my life as you lived yours.

Excerpt from a prayer by Joseph Tetlow, SJ, adapted from the Call of the King in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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