a fisherman repairing his nets

The Call of Simon the Fisherman According to Luke

The Call of Simon the Fisherman from the Gospel of Luke is a narrative of Simon Peter’s first encounter with Jesus on the shores of Lake Gennaseret in Gallilee.

Jesus is teaching a large crowd on the shore of Lake Gennaseret. He is literally being crowded into the water.

Jesus spots a fisherman, Simon, mending his nets and asks to use Simon’s boat. After teaching the crowd from the boat, Jesus instructs Simon to put into deep water and drop nets for a fish. Simon does so and makes a large catch of fish.

Simon and his partners are amazed. Simon confesses his sinfulness and asks Jesus to leave him. Jesus invites Simon to follow Him and become a fisher of men. Simon and his partners leave everything right there to follow Jesus.

The Gospel Account

You can find the story of the Call of Simon the Fisherman in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 5, verses 1-11.

Click on this link to view the Gospel passage using the New American Bible translation.

The Five Decades

When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from the Gospel. Read the Gospel verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.

First Decade: Jesus Teaches the Crowds (Luke 5:1-2)

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.

Second Decade: Jesus Asks Simon (Luke 5:3-4)

Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”

Third Decade: The Large Catch (Luke 5:5-7)

Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking.

Fourth Decade: Simon’s Response (Luke 5:8-10a)

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon.

Fifth Decade: Jesus’ Call (Luke 5:10b-11)

Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.

What to Remember

This Gospel story shows how Jesus called Simon, James, and John to follow Him and join Him in preaching the Good News.

As a follower of Jesus, you have the same invitation (or call): to witness the saving presence of Jesus in your life and then follow Him to evangelize others. You are led by the Holy Spirit to see – and be – the glory of God in the world.

When you listen to the words of this Gospel passage and take those words to heart, you grow towards a deeper realization that Jesus’ call to follow Him occurs in the ordinary moments of life.

Here are a few intentions to pray for:

  • For a greater openness to see and hear Jesus calling you to follow Him in the ordinary moments of life.
  • For deeper admiration of God’s abundance in nature and human history.
  • For family and friends to be willing to let Jesus step into the boats of their lives.
  • For a greater commitment for Christians to leave or set aside the unimportant things of life and focus on their relationship with God.

Feel free to pray the rosary using this Gospel when you want more connection with God’s Spirit leading you to a deeper encounter with Jesus, the Light of the World.

When This Gospel Appears

Luke’s Gospel account of the Call of Simon the Fisherman occurs in the Gospel reading in Cycle C of the Lectionary on the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time. The latest appearance is Sunday, February 6, 2022.

* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website, https://usccb.org/bible

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