The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XL: “Man has no Good of Himself and can Glory in Nothing” (second entry)
The disciple wants to rid himself of all vanity as he knows his own deficiencies but acknowledges God’s greatness. Help needed.
|Today’s Gospel reading: Lk 5:1-11
The Gospel reading is the story of the calling of Peter to be an apostle. This happens due to Providence. Jesus is teaching, the crowd’s press in, and Jesus appropriates a boat and asks the fisherman to put out a bit so that He can continue preaching; they do, He does. When finished, Jesus orders Simon to drop the nets to catch fish. He objects since they had no luck at all during the night. He does so, anyway, and brings in a tremendous haul of fish at which time he utters the exclamation in the headline due to this miracle. Peter and his companions, James and John, drop everything when they reach the shore to follow Jesus.
We should easily be able to understand and empathize with Simon Peter’s astonishment and humble words. We can all legitimately say precisely the same thing as He did to Jesus and mean it. Fortunately for Simon and for us the Lord does not depart, or wish to depart, from His friends. He doesn’t want to lose anyone (see Jn 18:9 and 1 Tim 2:3-4). We know we are vain and weak; God knows this much better than we do. So we must fight the temptation to attribute any good thing to our own power, but in all things point to our Blessed Messiah for all the credit and glory. For we don’t want to depart from Him, either — now and forever. Amen.