“As each has received a gift, employ it for one another.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Peter (1 Peter 4:7b—11)
Beloved: Keep sane and sober for your prayers. Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another. As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 96: 1-2a.2b-3.7-8a.9-10a and c (R. cf. 3)
R/. Tell among all the peoples the wonders of the Lord!
O sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
O sing to the Lord; bless his name. R/.
Proclaim his salvation day by day.
Tell among the nations his glory,
and his wonders among all the peoples. R/.
Give the Lord, you families of peoples,
give the Lord glory and power;
give the Lord the glory of his name. R/.
Say to the nations, “The Lord is King,”
The world he made firm in its place;
he will judge the peoples in fairness, R/.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Follow me, says the Lord, and I will make you become fishers of men. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
“At your word I will let’ down the nets.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 5:1-11)
At that time: While the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; hence forth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Simon and his companions were professional fishermen. They knew that the best time to catch fish was during the night. That was what they had tried to do all night without success. When it was daylight, a man who was not a fisherman but a carpenter told them to go out fishing again. The fishermen did not think it was a good idea, but they did not want to disrespect Jesus. Their compliance brought in a miraculous haul of fish beyond their imagination. That was enough for them to leave everything and follow Jesus to become fishers of men. Countless men and women since that time have left everything to follow Jesus and become fishers of men. We remember St. Patrick today, a man who like Peter fully explored his spiritual potentials making such a huge catch of souls in Ireland. So much so that the faith was firmly established in that country. Virtually every family had a priest or sister.
And by extension, we are eternally grateful to the Irish missionaries who evangelized our country Nigeria. Through one man St. Patrick, millions have been touched. Do you know what you are capable of doing if you just let your light shine?