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The challenge to trust

We continue our journey with Our Lord in Luke’s gospel as he calls the first of his disciples. There is more to this episode than just the call of the disciples. We are asked to reflect upon the fact that Jesus has moved to preaching to crowds of people that are following him on his journey, but Peter, along with the brothers James and John, were not in the crowd.

They were working on their nets after a poor night’s fishing. Their interest was not focussed on Jesus until he commandeered Peter’s boat, so that he could move away from the crowd to continue to speak. Peter didn’t seem to have any problem with Jesus taking over his boat and so he moved Jesus further out from the shore. It was then that Jesus suggested that Peter take his boat out further on the Sea of Galilee and cast his net.

Although Peter argued a bit, he did what was asked. Eventually he had to call James and John to help him with his catch.

Peter then recognises and acknowledges Jesus as Lord. He acknowledges his sinfulness, but Jesus tells him, “Do not be afraid.”

Jesus then calls Peter, James and John to follow him and they leave everything.

Would it be possible that we have all, at some time in our lives, experienced that same call to discipleship? We only have to remember our baptism to know that this is, of course the case.

However, there are many times we have and will continue to receive his call to carry out his mission in the world.

As with Peter’s experience in the boat, the resultant catch of fish and his recognition of the power and authority that Jesus had, he was humbled to the point that being in Jesus’ presence brought him to recognise and acknowledge his sinfulness.

“Leave me Lord, I am a sinful man.” The same happens for us, but in acknowledging our sinfulness, the power of Jesus becomes available to enrich us, so that we can offer ourselves to God.

The wonderful thing about our relationship with God is that we don’t have to wait for a flash of lightening or a thunder clap. God is within us and “... he speaks to us in the ordinary events of our daily lives. We are more likely to hear God’s call in our pain than in our plenty. When we discover the hand of God at work in our lives, the impossible becomes possible” (Desmond Knowles).

For us to discover God speaking to us is to make it possible for us to hear him and have the courage and generosity to respond promptly.

Yes, we will be called to take new directions and possibly face the unknown, but our faith, our hope and our love of God will give us the opportunity to respond, like Peter, James and John, and all the others who have met the challenge of the vocation to which God is calling us.