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02/10/19 Fifth Sunday in Oridinary Time - Fr. Damian

Do you ever think about how much fish the disciples left behind on those boats in the Luke Gospel? Really, think about it.


They’ve fished all night and caught nothing. They are cleaning their nets, maybe wondering where the next meal is going to come from. There were no fish; there won’t be anything to sell in the marketplace and definitely nothing to eat.

Then, miraculously at the command of Jesus, their nets are overflowing.

Actually, scratch that, their nets are tearing. They need another boat to come and help them load all the fish they’ve caught. Then, the boats start to sink.

We aren’t talking about a few fish; we are talking about thousands and thousands of fish. We are talking a fortune for the marketplace. It is an unfathomable abundance.

And the disciples leave it all behind.


Let me modernize the story, for you:

You’ve been playing the Powerball for years and never even won the minimum prize. You are about to give up when you meet Jesus, and He tells you to give it one more shot with six specific numbers. Later that evening, all the numbers hit. You are a multi-millionaire. Then, you get a knock on the door.


It is Jesus, and He is smiling – and He asks you to follow Him. But first, you need to set that lottery ticket down on the floor of you apartment and walk away.


How difficult would that be? Can you imagine the feeling that James, John, and Peter had looking at the once-in-a-lifetime catch before walking away? In front of them is Jesus and a very uncertain future, but behind them is financial security and wealth. What would you choose? Do you cash that lottery ticket?


The only way that the disciples could walk away is if they knew and believed something better was ahead of them. That catch of fish was nothing compared to what Jesus offered.


This story is about working together. From the first we are loved and called together. We don’t make it on your own. We follow together. We cannot be Christians on our own. We cannot go it alone. Self knows that self is not enough.


This is a call and a challenge today, and a joy. Living in a world very impersonal at timer, we need zones and places of community. Much of our communication now can be lonely – Facebook, texts and all are impersonal. We can get used to that.


For some of us, it may mean letting go of something today we are still holding onto. It may mean being willing to set that lottery ticket down and leave it behind so we can follow Jesus. We may still be looking over our shoulder and wondering if we are making the right choice.


Fear not, my friends. Wealth and glory are not what you have left behind – they are what you are walking toward, as long as you are walking behind Christ.



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