Following The Lord Against All Odds!

Weekly Missionary Reflection
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 06 February 2022

Isa. 6:1-2a,3-8; Ps. 138:1-2a,2bc-3,4-5,7c-8; 1Cor. 15:1-11 (long) or 1Cor. 15:3-8,11 (short); Luke 5:1-11

After the “failure” in His first performance, Yesus succeeded in His next preaching. He moved to Capernaum and preached the Gospel, cured the sick and cast away the devils in  Galilee. Many people came to listen to His teaching, they were thirsting for the Word of God. Ministers of the Word were needed. It’s time for Jesus to select and involve all His first disciples.

First, Jesus challenged Simon Peter. Before the big crowd on the shore, Peter would absolutely be proud that Jesus chose his boat as a pulpit. He was ready to be greeted and congratulated. But, the Teacher asked him to: “put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch”. This command did challenge Peter. As an expert fisherman with lots of experience, he knew very well that catching time was over. What would the other fishermen say? What a shame: catching at the wrong time. They had failed the night before! The first part of Peter’s answer showed his personal view: I had worked hard the whole night but caught nothing. This is the symbol of the answer of the next Gospel ministers, including you and I: we have used any kind of methods and ways, spent a lot of money, research, book, power, training, etc, but why does our ministry fail? There is a kind of disappointment and doubt: Does God really involve and support us?

Second, Peter dared to take the risk. It was clear from the second part of his reply: “Yet if You say so, I will let down the nets”. Peter chose to follow the Lord’s word. He stopped to calculate the profit and loss based on his experience and skill. He dared to take the risk of being humiliated and laughed at by his fellow fishermen! Minister of the Gospel does not need to count on logic calculation, yet has to dare to “go beyond” the certainty and assurance of common sense. How often the ministry of the Gospel is distracted and never starts because I always think of the profit and loss and self-esteem. How often the ministry of the Gospel fails because I make too much forecast on the result, expect all going smoothly, fixed and well arranged. Jesus guided Peter to dare to take the risk and make a “leap of faith”. The result is incredible: a fantastic catch! The result of the ministry of faith is always incredible and unbelievable!

Third, the experience of the Almighty Lord instantly made Peter realize on who he was: “Go away from me, Lord, as I am a sinful man”. Peter was guided through his experience and his own witness on the great work of the Lord, through His powerful words! This experience made him realize of how small he was, of his limited mind and ability as a human. At this point, again the Lord made another surprise. The humble Peter was given encouragement: “Do not be afraid!” and  trust: “from now on, you will be catching people”. That is how God’s power works in each minister of the Gospel. He will be guided and shaped through transformation: encouraged to take risk, realized of his true identity as a sinful man, and then given a trust/task as the minister of His Word.

(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:

For Universal Churches: For the nuns and women living a life of devotion
We pray for the nuns and women living a life of devotion; we thank them for their mission and courage; may they keep on finding ways in responding to the challenge of this new era.

For Indonesian Churches intention: Plastic waste management sustainability
We pray that the individual or group effort to reduce and recycle plastic waste could lead to community empowerment efforts
for it is supported by the government and social institutions.

Amen

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