Daily Reflection
September 5th, 2002
 Maureen McCann Waldron
Collaborative Ministry Office
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1 Corinthians 3:18-23
Psalm 24
Luke 5:1-11

It had been a discouraging night for Simon Peter and his friends.  They had been out all night on their boats and had caught nothing. As the weary men stood in the sand, leaning on their tiny fishing vessels, they talked and washed their nets.  A large group of people was slowly making its way toward the shore just up the beach from the boats.  Jesus, pressed by the growing crowd to the edge of the lake, could go no further on land.  Simon Peter had been aware of the crowd and of Jesus speaking, but he was too tired to be curious.  He had his nets to rinse and wanted to get home to his wife.

He wasnít one of the eager crowds and really didnít have a lot of time to listen.  He had been wondering if the fishing would be any better the next night. He was worried about his family and his wifeís mother had been sick.  It is at this moment in his life that Simon Peter was called by Jesus.

Itís heartening to think that this is the one Jesus called to lead us.  Simon is one of us, someone who is worried, distracted and at times, barely listening. His first response -- and ours -- is an acute awareness of his own unworthiness.  He is afraid of the power of a man who can fish better than he can with just a nod of the head.  That kind of power allows us to cling to our own sense of powerlessness, because no one asks a powerless person to help out.  We are off the hook.

It is only when Jesus looks at him calmly, with eyes filled with such endless love, that Simon hears the words Jesus was speaking.  ďDonít be afraid.  I need you to help with my work.Ē

Thatís when Simon does an amazing thing:  he trusts, fully and completely.  At last he hears what Jesus is saying to him and he believes.  He is able to put aside his fears, his thinking he isnít worthy.  He has no more excuses.  He will not suddenly become perfect, but he will go.

Jesus isn't calling us to be with him in his work because we are holy.  He calls us because we are human.  We are still the same people in many ways, with the same fears, the same distractions, the same inadequacies.  It is enough only that we trust and that we try.

Dear Lord, give me the strength today to really hear you and see you, not as a distraction from my real life, but as an invitation to live it more deeply.  Give me the courage to trust and to let you into my boat.  Help me not to be afraid. 

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