Thursday of the 22nd Week of the Year

Luke 5:1-11

The Call of Simon the Fisherman


As a kid, I accompanied my father whenever we went fishing at night in the river. As his companion, I followed my father wherever he threw his net for a catch. Since I was tiny, I was more afraid of the dark than the deep waters that we crossed. But I always experienced a certain excitement at dawn because of the good catch of fish. The volume of fish that we caught in the night made me look forward for another catch. But there were another nights when we were not so lucky. And I felt so sleepy and tired.

I am a fisherman but I am no longer catching fish. “From now on, you will bring in people instead of fish!” today the rapid growth of young people gathering in youth bile camps all over the country constitute a big catch of “fish.” The catch of fish is in the growing hunger of people for the Word of God. How else can we explain the clamor for building basic ecclesial communities? All of these phenomena involve people who are centered in the word of God!

We are all invited to cast our nets into the deep. “Don’t be afraid!”

What are my fears in life? What are my apprehensions in my ministry? Why am I hesitant in giving my best to the apostolate? How can I overcome my fears and doubts? (Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Fish were his business. Just imagine: suddenly there were more than ever before! The nets were bursting. Selling would be easier than ever. Peter must have entertained already the potential profit of such a catch. If Jesus could it once, why should He not do it again? Should he invite Him as business partner for a joint venture?

That’s what many of us would have also thought and actually done. But Luke surprises us when instead of inviting Jesus into his business, Peter and company “left everything and followed Jesus.”

The sign had revealed who Jesus was. It had revealed God’s incredible generosity. And in the face of such a generosity how could Peter react without being generous too? He took the risk, and a risk it was. But a call from Christ always includes a risk, whether it is a call to religious or married life. Actually, every decision is a risk. Yet, if we stay put nothing will happen; life continues as a boring routine.

Since baptism, God is calling us to be his co-workers, to be missionaries. Our family, the office where we work, our neighbourhood is the sea where the Lord wants us to cast our nets and begin to fish and bring people to him. As Christians we cannot be just consumers who live on what the Church has to offer.

Are you afraid? Do you feel unworthy? No problem, you are in Peter’s company and Jesus is telling you also: “Don’t be afraid!” (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Dairy 2005)


At the end of the great Jubilee year 2000, the late Pope John Paul II wrote an Apostolic Letter to map out the journey of the Church into the 21st century. He introduces a theme he would repeat time and again until his death: “Duc in altum – Put out into the deep!” these are the words of Jesus in today’s gospel to tired Simon Peter who had listened to Jesus’ teachings after a night of catching not even one fish.

In many life situations, we are like Peter: “Master, we have worked hard all night…” we feel often tired and exhausted and we say: “I have tried everything but it was useless. I just want to rest. It is said by priests who have worked hard but don’t see the fruits of their efforts. It is said by teachers who have tried hard teaching their subject but find their students unreceptive and failing. These words of resignation are uttered by parents who have done what they could to give their children a good education, even a good Christian education, but see their children not going to church anymore, becoming addicted to drugs…

It is just in such moments that Jesus comes and gives us a new task: “Duc in altum – Put out into the deep!” For a disciple of Jesus there is no resignation possible. A disciple of Jesus is drawn into the dynamics of his plans and sent forth again and again into the “deep,” into the dangerous, threatening world. It is there that the disciple experiences the power of Christ’s word, of his call and the mission he entrusts to him.

Don’t get scared! As Peter caught an incredible number of fish, so we, sent by Jesus, will experience his help and will do our task as missionaries, as people sent by Christ. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


In the game of baseball, the focus is often on the pitcher. He is the center of the game, the playmaker. However, there is one player who plays an important albeit unnoticed role – catcher. It is he who catches the pitched ball, the loose ball, the fly ball and most important it is he who guards the home base.

The Lord reminds us in today’s gospel that we too should be catchers, for the kingdom.

What are you catching, what at you gathering in life? Are you busy catching and gathering money, pleasures and fame for yourself that you have no time to catch and gather for the Lord?

At the end of our lives may we not be caught with all the useless junk we have garnered or worked for. What a sad day it will be if we come to the realization that we have pursued useless and fleeting things in our lifetime.

The catcher to be effective must be in perfect touch with the pitcher. In the same way, if we are to catch for the Lord, we must be sensitive to the signals of the Lord. We must be in tune with Him, all the time. After all, it is He who is the key player and the game maker.

No need to be an “eye catcher” and definitely not an “I” catcher. Be the Lord’s catcher.   (Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


Dr. Richard Evans, psychologist at the University of Houston, interviewed the great people in psychology and psychiatry, like Carl Jung, Eric Fromm, Erik Erikson, Carl Rogers and Jean Piaget. Dr, Evans learned from these great figures was the need for humility. He writes: “What these great thinkers profess to know an d their assessment of it is usually rather humble. Some people tend to oversell what psychology and psychiatry can do to help people solve their problems. Not so with the really great personages in these fields. The really important people have a more modest view of what they have contributed, much less what the field has contributed in general.”

In today’s gospel, besides his great faith in his Master, we see an aspect of St. Peter’s personality which is seldom seen by people, his humility. St. Peter, a veteran fisherman himself who knows his trade like the back of his hand, was being told or taught (?) how to fish by, of all people, a carpenter. “Despite working hard all night and caught nothing,” Peter humbling himself said, “Lord, as your word I will let down the net.”

The virtue of humility has fallen on hard times in our day. Books abound advocating aggressive behavior, assertive training and affirmative action. And yet humility remains at the root of our Christian life. If we seek to be truly great, then we have to be humble. St. Augustine says: “Do you wish to raise yourself? Begin by humbling yourself. Are you dreaming of building an edifice that will tower to the skies? Begin by laying the foundation of humility.” As our Lord already said: “He who exalts himself, will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Fr. Fred Mislang, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


September 1, 2016 Thursday

Wednesday evenings in our major seminary in Tagaytay have always been called “evenings for processing”. Processing of experiences, sharing of insights and giving affirming or corrective feedback are among the happenings during such evenings – all for the seminarians’ greater self-awareness, deepening of religious commitment, and strengthening of faith in pursuit of their religious vocation. Such evenings give them a sense of confidence in their gifts, palpable in the lessening of anxieties over future work as SVD religious-missionaries.

One can feel the fear of Peter in today’s gospel for he believed that he did not have the necessary “stuff ” to be called for a big task and to be one of the companions of Jesus. Being ever impetuous by saying things without thinking first before opening his mouth, coming from a simple, Sherman background, and most probably being older than the other apostles –these, surely, were not good qualifications for a follower of the Master. But our Lord’s words are so reassuring: “Be not afraid.” We can take to heart the same words said to Peter and the rest of the men called on that fateful day on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. You and I have been called to be partakers in the mission of Jesus. You have your gifts and I have mine. Certainly, God has given to each of us such gifts for us to be effective in doing our tasks as co-missionaries of Jesus. Let us take courage then for he is surely with us in our efforts to be his apostles and disciples. (Fr. Sisoy Cellan, SVD Kenya Bible Diary 2016)


GO, KEEP ON (Lk 5:1-11): Jimbo’s teacher in piano was to hold a concert and Jimbo was given two tickets for himself and his mother. Before the concert, Jimbo excused himself. His reminded him to be back before the start of the program.

When the curtain was already lifted, Jimbo still hadn’t returned. But when the light went on Jimbo’s mother saw him seated before the piano. She became confused. His teacher did not also know what to make of the incident.

Then Jimbo started to play the piano, stopped and looked at His teacher. The teacher encouraged him to go on. Jimbo again played longer and then looked at his teacher. The teacher encouraged him further to go on. Jimbo again played longer and then looked at his teacher. The teacher encouraged him further. Jimbo continued to play and finally the teacher sat beside him and they played the piano together.

It was probably the best part of the concert.

Two thousand years ago, a similar incident happened. This time it was not a concert. It was by the seashore. Peter wanted to make a good catch a concert. It was by the seashore. Peter wanted to make a good catch and Jesus encouraged him to go on. Peter complained that he had been there all night and had not been able to catch fish. Jesus said to him, “Go on, do not be discouraged. Start again. You are not very far from your goal.”

Do we not realize that very often this happens to us? We give up right when we are only one step from our goal. We grow tired we give up simply because we have toiled all night. Then we realize how near we are when we have given up.

The Lord tells us today in the Gospel, “Do not to give up, go on and start again. Keep on trying. All the effort in the past are still worth it. I have led you in the past, I will continue to lead you. Go on, do not be discouraged. You are not very far from your goal.”

We will pray today for that grace, the grace to move on. The grace not to be discouraged; the Lord is simply telling us, “Go on. Start again. Keep on trying. I am with you.” (Socrates Villegas, Only Jesus Always Jesus, p. 62)


V. 5: Peter lowered the nets and also his pride. he had all reasons not to follow Jesus: he is a fisherman. Jesus is a carpenter. Be open – minded and catch nets of blessings (Fr. Ching OP).


September 3, 2015

Thursday of the 22nd Week in the Ordinary Time B

Col 1: 9-14, Lk 5: 1-11


Once an African bishop invited missionaries to work in his mission diocese with the following offerings: No holidays, No Mass stipends, A lonely life, A violent death and An unknown burial.

These offerings may look strange and many may not respond to the invitation of such bishops these days. If we look at the life of the Maoists whom the Prime Minister of India considers the greatest threat to India the above mentioned conditions are fulfilled. It may be true that many of them were forced to join the Maoist movement in the tribal areas. But there are a good number of them who are convinced of the cause to which they are committed and fulfil all the criteria mentioned above. The Hindi film Chakravyoohclearly brings out the contradictions and the complexity of the Maoist issue along with the commitment of the Maoists to their cause. We may agree with their cause, the liberation of the tribals from exploitation and oppression, but we can never endorse their violent means. In a democratic country nobody has the right to take law into their hands. At the same time their commitment, readiness to take risk and willingness undergo any amount of suffering are really amazing. What Jesus wants from his disciples is this kind of commitment to continue his mission of ushering in God’s Reign.

We find in the Bible and in the history of the Church that God calling unexpected people at unexpected time and at unexpected places. The examples are Jeremiah, Moses, Mary Magdalene, St. Paul, St. Ignatius, St. Francis of Assisi etc. The call of Simon Peter, James and John about whom today’s Gospel passage speaks, was also quite unexpected. What we read in the Gospels is that they responded to the call immediately and followed Jesus without any hesitation.   The miraculous catching of the fish at the instruction of Jesus might have instilled confidence in them that the person who called them had a noble mission. They might have taken time to understand the various dimensions and consequences of the mission of Jesus. We read in the Gospels about Jesus’ efforts to make them understand the meaning and purpose of his mission. Even though they were timid at the time of Jesus’ death, later they were convinced of the beauty and relevance of Jesus’ mission and they proved their commitment to the mission with their hard work, suffering and even martyrdom.

Thousands of women and men have been called to become radical disciples of Jesus like Peter, James and John. The question they have to ask themselves is “How deep is my commitment to the mission of Jesus?” The intensity of their commitment depends on the depth of their conviction and conviction does not come automatically; it requires prayerful reflection and contemplation, wide reading and analysis of the situation in which one lives. Fr. Jacob Peenikaparambil CMI


Thursday of the 22nd Week in the Ordinary Time

1 Cor 3: 18-23; Lk: 5:1-11

Lord as Our Portion

When Peter obeyed the word of Jesus even though he had little hope of good catch, he got such a great catch that he had to get the help of his companions to pull it up and contain the fish in their boat. Peter realised that he is not worthy of such great catch and blessings of such a powerful master. His humility was well appreciated by the Master and he is called upon to be the catcher of men. Peter and his companions respond with total surrender to the Master. They leave the great catch they had just then, and follow the Master.

One’s obedience to the word of God even if one is not convinced of its effectiveness, would bring about an abundance of grace to the point that one would have to say Lord I am not worthy of this. The question is, are we ready to obey the word of God? Are we willing to follow the commandments given by the Lord? If we do this, great things will happen in our lives.

The greatness of Peter and his companions was that even when they got such a great catch, they were willing to give up everything to follow the Lord. They were convinced now that the Lord is their portion. Now the Lord will take care of their every want. For this, they were ever ready to give up a great catch which could have been the biggest catch in their entire life. And we know that they did not have to regret this decision in their life later. What are we ready to give up, for the Lord, for his kingdom? Fr. Paulson Muthipeedika CMI


Thursday, September 3, 2015

THURSDAY OF THE 22ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 5:1-11. ASA MAN KUTOB ANG ATONG PAGSALIG SA DIOS? Naningkamot ka pag-ayo, gibuhat nimo ang tanan, unya napakyas gihapon. Kon kini ang mahitabo, daghan ang mawad-ag gana, mohunong sa pagpaningkamot, ug modawat na lang sa kapakyasan. Apan lahi ang gipakitang ehemplo ni Pedro. Wala siyay nakuhang isda sa tibuok gabii niyang pagpangisda, apan wala siya nahutdi’g paglaum. Sa dihang gidapit siya ni Hesus sa pagtaktak og usab sa iyang pukot, nisugot siya ug tungod niini, nakuha niya ang daghan kaayong mga isda. Si Thomas Edison nag-ingon: “Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Dili gyod kita angay’ng mawad-ag paglaum. Sama kang Pedro, mopadayon kita sa pagpaningkamot tungod kay nasayod kita nga kini ang gusto sa Ginoo.  Posted by Abet Uy


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Reflection for September 3, Thursday Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church: Luke 5:1-11

Reflection: What is it with Jesus that He can make ordinary fishermen to become fishers of men? This is for the reason that all things are possible with our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ.

The encounter of Simon Peter and the other fishermen with Jesus by the lake of gennesaret is a magical and whirlwind encounter. It was an encounter that transformed their very lives! An encounter that moved them out of their own comfort zones so that they could follow Jesus.

We too have our own encounter/s with our Lord. We encounter Him through the celebration of the Eucharist/ Holy Mass. We encounter Him when we take time to read His very words in the bible. We encounter Him in the Sacrament of Confession and we encounter Jesus through the poor that we see everyday.

All of these encounters with Jesus are specifically designed to transform us. So that like Simon Peter and his companion of fishermen we too could be converted and become Jesus’ followers. Our every encounter with Jesus is always precious and magical. Let us therefore allow these encounters to purify and transform us.

Think about your latest encounter with Jesus, have you allowed that encounter to purify and transform you? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


 Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Reflection for Thursday September 1, Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 5:1-11

Reflection: A married couple was being convinced by their neighbor to join them in their weekly bible sharing. The couple said that they are not worthy to be with them because they are sinners. However, the persistent neighbor told them that, nobody is perfect. He further said that all of us are sinners. For we have offended God for so many times yet God in His infinite love and mercy is persistently calling us to follow Him and eventually serve Him.

In our gospel Simon was told by Jesus to go into deep water and lower their nets. Then Simon said, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”

Soon after they’ve caught hundreds of fish that their nets were breaking already, Simon felt that he was unworthy of the Lord and the bountiful fish that they’ve caught. So he said to Jesus: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

Who is worthy before the Lord? Who is qualified to follow Jesus? None of us are worthy; none of us are qualified for we are all sinners. But our sinfulness should never be an excuse for us not to follow the Lord and leave behind our life of sin.

Jesus always qualifies the unworthy, He always purify the unworthy to become worthy before His eyes. The infinite love and mercy of Jesus is always there for us ever ready to purify us no matter who we are, no matter how sinful we are. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


YOUR SUNDAY IS COMING – “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing.” – Luke 5:5

Many people tell me that I’ve succeeded so much in my life. But you see, they only know one chapter of my story. They don’t know about my other dreams that nosedived and crashed to the bottom of the sea.

For example, in 1983, I lived in a depressed area, dreaming of starting a community among the poor, plus a cooperative to assist in their financial needs. Nothing happened.

In 1985, I wanted to start a Christian restaurant and to provide jobs for the unemployed members of our community. That idea didn’t even reach the oven.

At the time of the failure, I felt like I was the worst man alive. But God is a master in the art of recycling flops like me. Failures in life are courses with very high tuition fees. So I don’t cut classes and miss my lessons — about humility, patience and hope, about asking for help, listening to God, and most of all, trying again — just like how the disciples in today’s Gospel listened to and obeyed God when they had spent the night fishing and caught nothing.

Friends, it may be Good Friday in your life right now, but your Easter Sunday is coming! Bo Sanchez (

Reflection: Are you experiencing some trials now? Have faith. Your Easter Sunday is coming!

Dearest Lord, grant me hope in times of trial and the grace to learn through my difficulties.


PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP – All over the Gospels, the primacy of Peter among the Twelve is well established. In today’s passage from Luke, we see the headship role Jesus was ascribing to Peter. Though the other disciples were present, it was Simon who took center stage from beginning to end. It was Simon whom Jesus directly addressed, who directly engaged Jesus in a dialogue. And at the end, when Jesus told the Apostles, “From now on, you will become fishers of men” (v.10), the Greek form (second person singular according to biblical scholars), indicated He was addressing them through Peter. I would like to call attention now to two important details.

First, though there were two boats moored by the lake, Jesus got into one of them — the one belonging to Simon — and began to teach the people from there. Scholars believe that Jesus ending up on Peter’s boat was not only by chance. The Church has always seen this as an image of Jesus teaching from the barque of Peter. This is why great attention is  being given to the role of the Magisterium, the teaching authority of the Church.

Secondly, He asked Peter to “put out into the deep waters and let down the nets for a catch” (v.4). Jesus did not intend Peter to be just a casual friend. “Putting out into the deep waters” is Jesus inviting him to a deeper relationship, one that will see Jesus asking Peter after the resurrection, “Do you love me?” (see John 21:15-17) three times.

Jesus also wants a deep relationship with each of us. This will not happen automatically. First, we need to allow Jesus to be in the boat of our lives. Have you invited Him? Have you allowed Jesus to occupy His proper place (which is everywhere) in your life or just little sections of it?

Second, have you allowed Jesus to bring you into the deep, beyond your comfort zones? Pope Francis once said that to be a serious Christian, one must be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Are you up to the challenge? Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Have you invited Jesus into your boat? Have you accepted His invitation to put out into the deep?

Banish my fear, O Lord. Help me to trust and grant me the courage to put out into the deep, knowing that You are with me in the boat. Amen.


September 1, 2016

REFLECTION: In today’s first reading the apostle Paul makes a strange statement by saying: “Everything belongs to you…Everything is yours, and you, you belong to Christ, and Christ is of God.”

Is everything in this world really mine? Well, God seemed to say so when he told Adam and Eve: “Fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish… the birds… all living things” (Gen 1:28). Even a divine institution like the Sabbath, Jesus tells us, is meant to serve our needs: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27). The same is true for any law or institution or human invention. They all belong to us, while we belong to Christ. In what sense do we belong to Christ? In the sense that Christ redeemed us by his bloody death on the cross (1 P 1:18; Rev 5:9; Ti 2:14; etc.). That is why addictions—not just to drugs, but to anything: gambling, food, alcohol, video games, etc.—are so contrary to God’s will. Addicts do not belong to Christ anymore but instead belong to whatever they are addicted to. And that is indeed a tragedy. For we are made for Christ. Only in Christ can we find our true peace of heart and our true happiness.


Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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