In the first reading today from 1 Corinthians 3, we hear more about wisdom and foolishness. “If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so as to become wise.”
In the Gospel reading from Luke 5, we see a miraculous catch of fish. After fishing all night and catching nothing, Jesus has the disciples go back out and fish some more. They caught so many fish that their nets were tearing. This stuns the disciples. Simon Peter’s reaction always moves me. His words are how I so often feel. “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” He knew that he was not worthy to be in the presence of Jesus. But Jesus responds, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
There comes a point in life where we must confront our own sinfulness. This great revelation can be very freeing for some. For others, it can actually be a point of turning away from God. Simon Peter could have let his feelings of unworthiness overtake him. Many people do. They end with, “Depart from me, Lord!” They never make it to following Him. They become dejected and fall into despair. Oh, I’ll never be good enough. God, in his great mercy, has a better plan. When we follow Jesus and become fishers of men, we allow God’s strength to overcome our weakness and sinfulness. That changes everything.
Father, we thank you for calling us to be fishers of men. Help us not to fall into despair and dwell on our own weakness, but on the strength of Jesus. Amen.