The Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 22nd Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 5:1-11.

After preaching in Judea, Christ returns to Capernuam and a large crowd presses upon Him by the lake of Gennesaret (a large freshwater lake; also called the Sea of Galilee). Simon, despite witnessing Christ’s many miracles at his house, continues to ply his trade as a fisherman, not yet a disciple. Christ, knowing Simon will eventually be His chosen leader of the Catholic Church, climbs into Simon’s boat and directs Simon to go a short distance from shore so that Christ can more effectively be heard by the crowd. Taking the seated posture of a rabbi, Christ teaches the crowd as Simon and other men (including future apostles James and John) stand in the the boat and listen.   

When He finishing teaching, Christ moves forward with His plan to call Simon to discipleship by directing Simon to go out into the deep to fish. Simon, a seasoned fisherman, politely calls Jesus “Master”, gently resists, explaining that they fished all night with no luck; from many years of experience, Simon knows that the fish are not running and attempting to fish during the heat of the day will be fruitless. Nevertheless, Simon agrees.

The catch astonishes (literally, “thunderstruck”) the seasoned fishermen, threatening to burst the nets and requiring an additional boat; both boats are filled to the point of swamping. Peter, now convicted beyond doubt about Christ’s miraculous divinity and calling Him “Lord”,  falls at Jesus’ knees, with humility and fear, admits his sinfulness and unworthiness.  Christ calms Peter, telling him not to fear and that he will become an evangelist (fisher of men) for Christ. Despite the massive catch and economic windfall, Peter, James and John leave everything (fish, boats, nets, families, homes) and follow Christ.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has omniscience, knowing the location and activity of fish, and omnipotence, the power to influence large numbers of fish to be caught. Divine King, Christ has an innate ability to evaluate men and can persausively recruit them to do His work.  Divine Orator, Christ understands acoustics and has a robust and manly strength that allows Him to speak to large outdoor crowds.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) To grasp a fuller impact of Gospel events, men need to go beyond simple reading of Gospels and dig deep into the details. Reflect on the details of Christ’s miracle of the huge catch of fish; how did He do it?

2) Most Catholic men do not yet realize they are called, just like Christ’s call to the Apostles, to evangelize, to be “fishers of men.”  Update your understanding of your personal Prophetic Office (CCC 904-907) and pray for Christ to use you to build the Kingdom of Heaven. 

3) As Christ used Peter’s talents as a fisherman to become a “fisher of men”, every man has been endowed by Christ with specific talents which are essential to building the Kingdom.  Reflect on Talents (CCC 546, 1879-1880, 1936-1937, 2427) and pray for Christ to guide you to use your own God-given talents to build His Church.