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JESUS' FOCUS ON SIMON - Lk 5:1-11 (Thursday of the 22nd week, Year B)
By Augustine Agwulonu
Thu, 03 Sep 2015

JESUS' FOCUS ON SIMON - Lk 5:1-11 (Thursday of the 22nd week, Year B)

What could have made Jesus to focus his attention on Simon? After he left the synagogue, in Capernaum, according to chapter four of Luke's Gospel, Jesus went into Simon's house and healed his mother-in-law who was suffering from high fever. The first pericope of Luke's Gospel, chapter five, narrates how Jesus called Simon from catching fish to become a fisher of men. According to the narrative, Jesus got into Simon's boat and asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. He then asked Simon to cast his net into the deep water for a catch of fish. So, what makes Simon special to Jesus? What endeared him to Jesus? Was Peter a favorite of Jesus?

The questions could be endless. So, let us stop the train of questions and propose some answers. We are all Jesus' favorites! Simon can be seen as a model and a personification of Jesus' interest on each and everyone of us. In one way or another, The Lord has called our attention to himself. He has wooed us. He has gotten into our "cars" and asked us to give him a ride. He has been with us to our workplace. He has walked along our respective paths of life with us. He has been following us "bumper to bumper."

What an embarrassment it must have been for Simon, as his encounter with Jesus confronted him with his sinfulness! Anyhow, Jesus did not mean to embarrass Simon. He never meant to "expose" him. However, Simon's contact with Jesus automatically led to a deeper awareness of himself and his need for a divine intervention in his life. Simon's impulsive reaction, asking Jesus to depart from him, was nothing other than an exclamation of a helpless person. It is actually a cry for help. And Jesus understood Simon's cry as such. The reason was because, he knew Simon, even before he approached him at the Gennesaret's sea shore.

One of the purposes for which Jesus came into the world is to help us know ourselves. Jesus can only be useful to us if we can see ourselves as we truly are, if we can recognize our inadequacies and if we can gain the insight into who Jesus is. Simon gained this insight during his encounter with Jesus at the sea. Jesus' attention has been focused on us right from our conception in our mothers' wombs. But have we also caught his attention? Have we reported ourselves to Jesus as Simon did? Simon's confession of his sinfulness to Jesus was the first step in the right direction. Latter Simon would confess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God.

We must confess our sinfulness to Jesus, we must confess Jesus himself as the Christ, and we must also confess the praise of God.

Today, we celebrate the memorial of St. Gregory the Great. It was through his wonderful confession of God's praises by his creatively composed Church music, which is popularly known today as the "Gregorian chants," that Pope, St. Gregory taught us to sing God's praises. Through his intercession, may our praises be acceptable to the Blessed Trinity... Amen


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