This weekend in the Gospel we see Jesus call His first Apostles to Himself. Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John probably didn't expect their day to end up like this. They probably went out the night before to fish expecting nothing out of the ordinary to take place. But by morning they were probably frustrated beyond belief having not been able to catch any fish (Lk. 5:5). There is a TV show called The Chosen that does a wonderful job depicting the call of Peter, Andrew, James, and John. It departs from the text of the Gospels but adds a human element that sometimes is hard to pick up in the Scriptures!
While this story beautifully depicts the calling of the first Apostles, it isn't the only message that is given to us. Each of us are like Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Each of us are in a boat. St. Therese of Lisieux has this wonderful quote that fits well. She says, "This world is thy ship, and it is not thy home." How beautiful is that? Each of us, by virtue of being born, are in a boat. The question is when we see Christ do we invite Him into the boat? Peter, Andrew, James, and John might have left their fishermen boat, but they entered the boat of evangelization.
All of us have the great opportunity to make our boats fitting for Christ. In just one month the Church will begin the season of Lent, and we are invited to fast, to give alms, and to pray. These three pillars aren't supposed to be pains in our side to remind us of Good Friday, but they're invitations to help us declutter our boats.
Let us take time in prayer to see where the Lord is asking us to grow this Lent. Where can we create space in our boat to invite in Jesus? Maybe He is calling us to pray the rosary as a family rather than turning on the TV after dinner. Maybe He is inviting us to get up earlier so we can make it to an extra Mass during the week. Everyone will have a different way of inviting Jesus into his or her boat.
Here are some questions for reflection that can guide our prayer this week:
What nets are in our lives that cause us to get tangled up?
Are the waters our boats are in choppy or smooth?
What does our boat look like? Is it clean or cluttered? Are there holes in our boat that let water in?
What can we get rid of to create space for Christ to enter our boat?
Who is captaining our boat?
May the Lord be with us this week as we continue to invite Him deeper into our hearts.
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