When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” (Gospel for Feb. 6, Lk 5:8-10)
Simon Peter recognizes Jesus for who he is and deems himself unworthy to be in his presence. Jesus, in calling the fisherman to follow him, tells him not to fear. Every one of us is a sinner, and yet Jesus calls each of us to follow him. It is not our own virtues or qualifications, but rather Jesus who empowers us with his grace to respond to his invitation. Brothers, remember St. Paul’s words: “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me” (Phil 4:13).
Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori:
This month, I challenge you to go to confession and attend at least one weekday Mass, offering it for the intention to fearlessly answer Christ’s call to follow him. Second, I challenge you to participate in or consider starting the Faith in Action Into the Breach program.
Questions for Reflection:
Are you sometimes afraid to follow Christ more closely because you consider yourself too sinful and unworthy? Do you truly believe in and experience Christ’s mercy and seek to forgive yourself as well as others? Do you stay close to the sacrament of penance in order to do battle with your own sinfulness and allow God’s grace to strengthen you for spiritual combat?