If you’re like me, you spend every day wondering what the future has in store for you. If you’re like me, you spend a great deal of energy planning for a future you want, but acknowledge may never actually happen. If you’re like me, every now and then, you look up to heaven and ask, “When Lord, when?” If you’re like me, the answer eventually comes when you least expect it. That is one of the many lessons of the Gospel today. God has a great opportunity for you, and when you least expect it, He is going to reveal it to you, and you better be ready to accept His call.
Now that we have completed our celebration of the Holy Cross, the Church brings our attention to a new season during which we read from the Gospel of Luke. Today’s story is the calling of some of the disciples, simple fishermen to whom He said, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” (Luke 5.10) When Simon and his fishing partners least expected it, after a long unproductive night of fishing and catching nothing, God called them to a great opportunity. Because they were willing to listen to His call, and obey His command, not only did they catch a huge number of fish, their lives were forever changed. They became disciples of the Lord, and Apostles of the Church. From that moment, they followed Him into heaven.
Today, the Lord is calling us to a similar challenge. His is calling us to forget about our past failures, and trust that He knows better than we know how our future can be blessed. If you’re like me, your life is filled with mistakes, some big and some small, some you regret and others you don’t even remember. But we must remember that our past, mistakes and all, have brought us to this moment to hear God’s call to trust Him and follow Him. If we are willing to obey Him, He will change our lives and bring us with Him to heaven.
God doesn’t call only the successful people to follow Him, He calls ALL people to follow Him. Simon and his partners spent an entire night fishing with no success. God knows exactly what mistakes we have made, and He knows better than we know what is in our heart. He is calling us, no matter who, no matter what, we are. He is inviting us to come as we are, and with our cooperation, He can change us to become His disciples. As the hymn of Pentecost reminds us, God “made the fishermen wise and through them illumined the world.” If God can gather the whole world through a few simple fishermen, He can gather more through us today.
Today is our chance to listen to God’s invitation and become His disciples. Today is our chance to allow His will to change our lives. Today is our chance to allow God to use us to gather the world into His net, the Church. Today is our chance to follow Christ into heaven, and lead others alongside us. You probably did not expect to be called to gather people for God today, but when you least expect it, God calls you to great opportunities.