Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 138:1-5,7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11)
Answering the Call to Share Our Faith with Others
“Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” (Luke 5:10)
Think about what would have been left out of this story if Jesus had never said this to Peter. It still would have been an amazing miracle and one of the best “fish stories” of all time. A fisherman at the peak of his profession can’t catch any fish. A virtual stranger tells him to try again, and he catches more than his nets can hold! That alone showed Peter that he was standing before someone with a special relationship with God—an important lesson indeed. But there’s more at stake than fish here.
When Jesus tells Peter that he will be catching people, he is telling him about his mission. Peter now has a new calling. He is to bring souls into the kingdom of God. Jesus proves that he will provide for all of Peter’s material needs—fishing is no problem for him! It’s people that he values most of all. So he entrusts Peter with bringing them into his Church. And in saying “Do no be afraid,” he’s assuring Peter that he’ll give him the same success in his new endeavor as he gave him with catching fish.
Do you have a plan for how you are going to share the gospel? Do you have some idea of the people you are going to share it with? Try this approach. Choose five people, and pray for them every day. Ask the Lord to open their hearts and to give you opportunities to share your faith with them.
Ask him, also, to lead you in what to say. You may end up telling one person how you met the Lord. You may invite another to Mass or adoration. Or you may ask another why he or she doesn’t believe, and just plant a seed. Don’t worry about the outcome. Just trust that the Lord will lead the right people to whatever “net” you are casting.
“Lord, give me the desire to lead people to you. Help me to see their needs, to meet them where they are, and to be willing to tell them of your salvation.”
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the readings and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- In the first reading, God asks, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah responded, “Here I am, send me!” St. Teresa of Avila once said, “Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world.” What are some areas of service to the Lord in your life? In what w ay may God be asking you to be of even greater service to him in today’s world?
- The responsorial psalm speaks of giving praise, thanks, and worship to the Lord for all he has done. How would you describe what the Lord has done for you?
- The responsorial psalm also asserts that “When I called you, you answered me; you built up strength within me.” Can you share an example of how God has answered you and strengthened you when facing difficulties?
- In the second reading, St. Paul refers to his own conversion and how God’s grace “has not been ineffective” in him. While maybe not as dramatic as St. Paul’s, can you share an example of a time when Christ touched and turned your heart toward him?
- In the Gospel, we hear Jesus say to Simon Peter, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” After a fruitful catch of fish, Jesus tells Peter, James, and John that they will now “be catching men” (be fishers of men). This story also reminds us of how “fruitful” we will be if we only seize the moment and heed Christ’s promptings, especially in sharing our faith with others. Were there some times during the past week (or month) when you were attentive to the promptings of the Spirit and “seized the moment” to share your faith? Were there some times when you may have missed some opportunities to do so. What did you learn from these opportunities?
- In the Gospel, Simon Peter was so astounded by Christ’s actions that his first thought was of his own unworthiness. What is your reaction when you see Christ’s love touching lives through your words and actions? Does it humble you or are you filled with pride? In what ways?
- The meditation lays out a possible approach and plan for sharing your faith with others: “Choose five people, and pray for them every day. Ask the Lord to open their hearts and to give you opportunities to share your faith with them. Ask him, also, to lead you in what to say.” Are you willing to experiment with this approach and see how the Lord will use you? If not, why not? Are their other steps you can take to reach out to others with the Good News of Jesus Christ?
- Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for a new openness to him — and courage, boldness, and wisdom in sharing your faith with others. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.