Peter and Paul are ever-present within the Church and their influence is fundamental to the growth of Christianity. Rightly, we place these great saints on pedestals. We read Scripture and seek through the words to emulate the disciples.
Yet, their own journeys of faith were not dissimilar to ours. They were beset by the same sense of unworthiness. They failed, at times to a degree that must have hurt, to live up to Gospel demands. For example, Peter denied Jesus three times, even having explained that he never would do so.
We are not so different as these disciples. In many respects, we have more knowledge than them, because we are able to read the complete Gospel accounts alongside a certain alignment with the traditions of the Church. Peter and Paul were there at the outset, whereas we see their influence as well as the greater picture that has been passed down the centuries.
We are beset, though, by the same human problems of unworthiness and fear. We wrestle with similar problems of faith. In many ways, it is no easier, no more difficult, to follow Jesus now rather than then.
But the truth is that Jesus is still our advocate, still our guide, despite our unworthiness, despite our lack of faith, just as he was for those first disciples. Jesus asks much of us but he also recognizes our brokenness. Through his own humanity he has passed down to us the Sacraments including 1. Baptism, in which we become marked with Fathership of God 2. Eucharist, in which we share Christ as our sustenance on this wordly journey and 3. Reconciliation, in which we are given the chance to begin again.
This, then is our discipleship. We are not on our own but have Christ as our constant advocate. He asks much of us, yes. But he is also the God of forgiveness and wants to assure us that we can do great things as children of God. So, let us use the Gospel account of today to spur us on into greater communion with Jesus, and to develop us as citizens of heaven. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 5: 1-11
Glory to you O Lord
Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.He got into one of the boats-it was Simon’s-and asked him to put out a little 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 deep water and pay out your nets for a catch’.
‘Master,’ Simon replied ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets for a catch.’
And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.
When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying,
‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners.
But Jesus said to Simon,
‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch’.
Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.