Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
(Colossians 1:9-14; Luke 5:1-11)
When people win at slot machines, almost invariably they play again. They may think they are on a winning streak or may feel a need to give back some of what they have taken. In any case, they feed the slot at least one more coin. Fishing may be compared to slots inasmuch as the result is beyond one’s complete control. Therefore, Simon, James, and John might be expected to return to the deep at least one more time after the miraculous catch they make in today’s gospel.
But the account indicates that the three do not even bother to sell the fish that they have hauled in. Rather, they leave everything at once to follow Jesus. Their reason is obvious. Despite the fact that Jesus is “Lord” in whose presence they cannot help but feel unworthy, he has called them to follow him. At this point returning to fisherman’s life would be like preferring Roman graffiti to the Sistine Chapel.
Jesus calls us to do likewise. No, he does not mean that we must leave our careers, but he insists that we look at what we do in a new way. We will no longer consider our work primarily as a way to make money. We will look upon it more so as a way to serve others. Whether we are builders or beauticians, assembly line workers or sales reps, we will make sure that what we do conforms to his righteousness. Then we will redouble our efforts so that our work duly honors him.