Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
(I Corinthians 3:18-23; Luke 5:1-11)
Simon makes his livelihood fishing. Having his own boat, he probably is an accomplished fisherman. That means he knows the sea; he is sea-wise. But St. Paul tells the Corinthians in the first reading that there is something better than being “wise in this age.” He exhorts them to become like fools needing instruction. So what happens when Simon abandons his own wisdom to follow Jesus’ instruction? That’s right; he catches two boat-loads of fish.
The catch is symbolic for Jesus. He tells Simon that he will be catching humans, not fish, implying that there will be many. But to do so, once again Simon must become foolish by giving up his boat and gear. If he is to preach the Kingdom of God, he must dedicate himself one hundred percent to learning from the master. How can Simon help but to take up the challenge?
We too must give up the quest for worldly wisdom. That is, we must forsake the incessant pursuit of fame and fortune. Jesus has chosen each of us to learn from him so that we might teach others about him. We are not talking necessarily about enlisting converts here. No, we are sent to convert others to his ways by example, instruction, and tender care. Through our efforts may our associates become more just, loving, and faithful people.