God Calls Our Names
Opening Question: How many of you have had a nightmare so strong that you just had to tell someone? What was it?
First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
Danny saw a room with a great light. As he entered the room, the door closed behind him and the walls of the room began to close in on him. Danny began to panic; he felt his heart pound faster and stomach hurt from his fear. Danny cried out, “Mommy!”
Now awake, Danny sat up in bed. He still felt his panic, but, unlike his dream, he knew the reason for his fear.
The door to Danny’s bedroom opened, and his mother peaked in the door. “I heard you scream, Danny,” his mother said. “Did you have a nightmare?”
“Yeah, Mom,” Danny answered. “And I know why I had the bad dream. I lied to you about cleaning my closet. I hope your not mad at me.”
Danny’s mom sat down beside him and gave him a big hug. “I forgive you,” his mother whispered. “Clean it tomorrow.”
“You bet, Mom!” Danny shot back.
Like Danny, Isaiah was afraid. He was a sinner who lived with a sinful people, a people who lived a lie. They worshiped God and then broke his law by cheating and stealing. But like Danny’s mom, God forgave Isaiah and sent him to speak God’s truth to the people.
We tell others about the things we experience, both good and bad. Danny talked to his mom about his nightmare. Isaiah told others about his vision of God. Both Danny and Isaiah changed from what they saw and changed what they did.
Bridge Question: How many of you have gone fishing? What happened?
Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
The people crowded around Jesus to hear him preach God’s word. He stood along the shore of Lake Gennesaret and saw two boats docked there. The fishermen had left the boats and were cleaning their nets. Jesus got into Simon’s boat and asked him, “Put your boat out just a little.” Then, Jesus sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he finished teaching, Jesus told Simon, “Sail out to deeper water and go fishing.”
“Teacher, we’ve worked all night long and haven’t caught a thing,” Simon replied. “But, when you give the order, we’ll lower our nets.” They lowered their nets into the water and pulled them back up with so many fish, the nets were tearing apart! “Come and help us!” they called to their friends in the other boat. After other boat sailed close by, the fishermen filled both boats up with so many fish, the boats almost sank! When Simon Peter saw what happened, he got down on his knees in front of Jesus. “Leave me, Lord,” Simon pleaded, “because I’m a sinner!” Simon and all his friends were amazed at the large number of fish they caught. James and John, fishermen who worked with Simon, were also amazed.
“Don’t be afraid,” Jesus said to Simon. “From now on, you’ll catch people for me.” They brought their boats back up onto the shore. Then, they left everything they had and followed Jesus.
Grandpa woke up Nancy before dawn. “It’s time to go fishing on the lake,” Grandpa told her. Nancy was too tired to argue, so she got dressed and followed Grandpa out the door.
The night was still black, but Nancy could see the eastern sky was pink; dawn was coming. Grandpa and Nancy set up on the shore of the lake and cast their lines.
“Grandpa,” Nancy whispered, “why do we get up so early to catch fish?”
“Well, Nancy,” Grandpa explained, “the fish are cold-blooded animals. Because the water is cold, the fish are not very active and they lie closer to the top of the water where it is warmest. And, in the morning, the fish are hungry. That means they will try to eat anything that might move. So, right before dawn is the best time to start fishing.”
Nancy and Grandpa fished until 8:00 in the morning. Then Grandpa stood up and began to put his fishing gear away. “Time to go,” Grandpa told her. “The water’s warm, the fish are busier now, and most of then have eaten. Besides, if you can see them in the water, they can see you.” Grandpa made his point.
Why was Simon so surprised by the number of fish he caught when Jesus told him to lower the nets? Because it was in the morning, when the fish would be easily caught. But they caught so many fish, two boats could barely bring hold them all.
Why did Simon ask Jesus to leave? Because Simon realized Jesus had the power of God. But Jesus didn’t leave. In fact, he called Simon to follow him and catch people. Jesus renamed Simon as Peter and made him the first leader of the Church.
We can experience many things that will change us. We will feel bound to tell others what happened to us and how we have changed. Isaiah saw God in a vision and was changed. Simon saw God’s power in Jesus and was changed. Both went out to tell others about God and his power. Let us pray God will help us do the same.
Closing Question: How can you tell others you were caught by Jesus?