The First Sunday of Luke - Obedience in the Face of Disappointment

In today's Gospel reading, we set out on a journey to read the Gospel of Luke, a Book that emphasises the radical ministry Christ set out to achieve. Today's reading opens on Jesus approaching Simon Peter and the other disciples as they wash their nets. They had fished all night and caught nothing.

We have all felt this way. There are many times in our lives where we try and try, and despite our best efforts, we come up empty. Our hopes are dashed and we're left disappointed, ready to give up. While we can encounter this in all sorts of situations, it hurts the most when we experience this in our ministry or spiritual life. Despite our persistence, we sometimes feel like giving up and walking away from the Church all together.

The story doesn't end there. The Lord tells them to let down their net, one more time. They do as he asks and, to their surprise, they catch so many fish that their net breaks and their boats began to sink. It was truly a miracle! Saint Peter fell down before Christ and said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” But the Lord said, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”  Then the disciples left behind their boats and nets and followed Christ as His disciples.

The Gospel shares a message that we must carry in our hearts as we learn to carry our cross. The Lord is able to bless and transform our humble work, the difficult situations we face, and all the struggles of our lives.  Even in the depths of our disappointment and despair, Christ is with us.

The devil will tempt us to throw in the towel or give up. Remaining obedient to Christ even when the work seems fruitless is the most important thing we can do. If your intentions are pure, your breakthrough will come when you least expect it. It is easy to obey Christ when things are going our way. It is hard to obey Christ when we're facing adversity. However, faith isn't really faith unless it has been tested and strengthened by obstacles and challenges.

Can you think back on a time in your life where you were close to giving up, then God provided an answer?

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