By By Rev. Fr. Rommel M. Arcilla
The Need for God’s Grace
posted 18-Feb-2019  ·  
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They were fishermen and catching fish was their trade. Through a lot of experiences in life as fishermen, they may have mastered almost everything that pertain to their job. They were already at the seashore, washing their nets after a day’s labor without catch, when Jesus suggested that they must go fishing once again. Maybe they have heard about Him already, but one thing is sure. They knew that he was not a fisherman and for these real fishermen to follow the word of Jesus for them is an act of humility.

“We worked hard all night long and caught nothing.” This was Simon Peter’s objection when the Lord asked Him to put out once more into the deep. However, it did not end there because Simon was ready to follow the words of Jesus saying; “If you say so, I will pay out the nets.” And we all know what happened next. Maybe it was a miracle or maybe it simply proves the fact that Jesus is Lord of all creation.

After the great catch, Simon fell into his knees and asked the Lord to leave him alone because he was a sinner. Again, we can see here the display of humility and unworthiness because he was aware of his sinfulness. He was not worthy to be part of the life of Jesus because of his sins.

We are still asking Jesus to leave us behind, but we are asking Him to leave us because we just don’t want to submit to His words and demands. We want Him out of our lives because His presence is an obstacle to our vicious wants and needs that serves as food our to self-centeredness. Leave me behind, Jesus, for I cannot go on with my corrupt practices with you around. Leave me behind because I cannot enjoy what this world is offering me, and you are teaching me otherwise.

Peter acknowledged his sinfulness and he felt so unworthy of Christ. The amazing thing about God, as revealed by Jesus in today’s gospel, is that he sees not only the sinners that we are, but, the saints that we can become. While he beholds the wreck and the havoc caused by sin in us, he also contemplates the marvelous potentials his grace can work in us.

God knows to what heights of perfection we can arrive, if only we will cooperate with him. Thus, he never tires of proposing to us, no matter how often we spurn his proposal. Jesus proposed to Peter to “leave everything behind” and follow him despite Peter’s acknowledgment of his sinfulness. “Leave everything behind” is a favorite theme with Jesus.  He says it when he confronts those who want to share more in the love of God and deepen their faith.

The lesson that we need to learn is the fact that we really need the presence of Christ and the grace of God at every given moment in our lives. We need Him during those happy moments so we ca thank Him as he continues to shower us with His graces every day. We need Him at the close of the day, so He can protect us while we recharge our bodies while we sleep. We need Him especially during those moments when we are submerged deep in our sinfulness, so He can save us and keep us from drowning and losing our lives to the materialistic tendencies of this world.

We may have experienced this feeling of godlessness in our lives, those moment when God is an obstacle, those moments when God is just out there to destroy our evil intents, those moments when we were like Simon who felt hopeless because of his sinfulness. My dear friends, these are the same moments when we trusted much what we can do and not what God can do for us. These are the moments when we put God aside and, instead put ourselves at center of it all.

We must have the humility to let God do the rest after our every effort seemed to have failed. We must have the awareness that we are but sinful human beings and therefore we really need the help and the grace coming from God. With all our cooperation to all His graces, we must be submissive to do His will and be ready to leave everything behind and follow Him.

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