Gospel: Luke 5 : 1 – 11
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6
And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So 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 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 which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
In Today’s Gospel, Jesus calls Simon Peter to become an Apostle, to be a fisher of men. The church has always believed that a vocation is something that only certain people receive; that is, those who are called to the priesthood or religious life . In God’s providence, however, everyone is called to a vocation, to the vocation of sanctity. It was our Lord Himself who said, “This is the will of God: your sanctification!” Here we have a call to imitate Christ and to grow in His likeness, a call to duplicate in our lives the virtues Jesus practiced. Holiness, therefore, is our end, our goal, our true vocation.
There are certain means by which we attain this goal, a specific vocation to which each of us is called. Not all are to use the same means to holiness, not all are to have the same state in life. St. Paul tells us we are not all to be prophets, not all are to be evangelists. What was true then is also true now. Not all are called to the priesthood or to religious life. Some are called to marriage, while others prefer to remain single in their quest for holiness. God calls all to serve Him and sanctify themselves in different ways. These different ways are part of God’s infinite wisdom.
Each of us is called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and to be animated by the same love that inspired Him. But, each of us is to do so according to the special vocation we have received. It takes humility to recognise the means by which God calls us to holiness. Fidelity to this call is the condition for happiness here and for all eternity.
in XC, Fr Augustine