Lk 5: 1-11




I recently met a man who was applying for his dream job but was rejected not once, not twice, not thrice, not four times, but more than that! People thought that he would be devastated and soon give up his dream. But each time he was rejected, he told himself that he was just fine, and he tried again. One day, he met a kindly old boss who gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. Now, this person is the best in his job and he inspires others to continue to live and fight for their dreams.


Today, we live in a very challenging period right in the middle of a raging pandemic all over the world.  This is really a time for easy frustration and discouragement. This pandemic has thrown us all off course in our jobs, business, plans, and health. Add to that the already existing tensions in our homes, relationships, family life or mental health. What great temptation to just give up, to fall into despair, or to call it quits and go home.


But you know what? God created us to be fighters, not failures. When going gets rough, it is he who encourages us to continue to pursue our dreams. Look at Peter in today’s Gospel. After a fruitless night of fishing, he was about to surrender and walk home empty-handed. Jesus observed him and made a stunning suggestion. Give it another try; make another attempt; believe that the ocean is vast and rich and has so many more to offer.


Peter already tried every trick he knew in the fishing business and his efforts were in vain. He hesitated to follow this stranger’s advice. Besides, what does a preacher know about fishing? What can a carpenter offer to a fisherman? When finally, Peter obeyed the Lord Jesus, he was bowled over by the greatest surprise of his life, the biggest miracle he has yet seen in his life.


Isaiah (first reading) thought he was so sinful he was unfit to become a prophet. Paul thought he was the least disciple and an abnormal at that, so he was unworthy to meet Jesus. But God anointed Isaiah’s lips so he could proclaim. Jesus appeared to Paul as he appeared to all his other disciples. Peter thought his sins disqualified him from the Lord’s presence, and yet now Jesus sends him to become a fisher of men.


Do you feel that at times you are at your wits’ end and that the only choice is to give up? Do not listen to the problem; listen to the Lord’s encouraging word. Do not dwell on the pain; focus on his graces. Do not retreat from the quest; retrace your steps and move on. It is Jesus who encourages you to never give. It is God who strengthens you and empowers you to reach your dream.