22nd Week in Ordinary Time
Colossians 1:9-14; Psalm 98:2-6;Luke 5:1-11
Lower your nets for a catch. (Luke 5:4)
Can you imagine the look on Peter’s face when he realized how many fish were coming up in his net? No wonder he dropped to his knees! He realized that he was in the presence of someone totally “other,” someone he felt compelled to call “Lord” (Luke 5:8). From that moment on, Peter’s life was changed. Now he was going to fish with a spiritual net, catching men and women for the Lord.
Today, Jesus is still calling his disciples to lower their nets for a catch. But practically speaking, what does lowering our nets look like? First and foremost, it means acting and speaking in such a way that we shine the light of Christ into others’ lives. Befriend someone. Offer to pray with a neighbor who is sick. Invite an acquaintance over for coffee or dessert. As you try to do these things, remember to just be yourself, not some idealized version of the “perfect” Christian. Just take one step forward with someone, and see what happens. Most likely, you will find Jesus’ light shining out of you just fine whether you share about your faith or talk about your favorite book or movie.
Try this mental image as you go through the day today. Picture yourself carrying a big, invisible fishing net beside you and asking the Lord to sweep as many people as possible into it. Remember, he’s the One who does all the catching. Your part is to let your net down by practicing the kind of actions and behaviors that will attract people to him. In other words, you are the “bait” that can draw others into the kingdom. As people see the light of Christ in you, they will be drawn toward it, so that Jesus can sweep them into the large net of God’s kingdom.
When Jesus first asked him to let down his nets, Peter was fairly skeptical. The best response he could conjure up was something along the lines of: “I’m just doing this because you asked me to.” And look how miraculously Jesus worked! So even if you feel like you have been “fishing” for a long time with few results, go ahead and throw that net out one more time today. You may just be amazed at the results!
“Lord, I want to lower my net for a catch today. Let your light and love shine through me.”