Wednesday, August 31, 2005




Brothers and sisters: From the day we heard about you, we do not cease
praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of
God's will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding to walk in a
manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good
work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God, strengthened
with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance
and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has made you
fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered
us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of his
beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

LUKE 5:1-11
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. 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." 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 the boats were in danger of sinking. 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. 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.

Jesus is not only interested in crowds; he is also interested in us.
God reaches us in many different ways, through a Sunday homily, through
a friend or even through a sad event. But whatever way God tries to
reach us, He wants to reach us personally, like he did with Simon. In
today's gospel, Jesus left the crowds so that he can focus on just one
person - Simon. But why did Jesus approach just one person?

When Jesus meets us, it is his purpose to take us from a shallow faith
to a deeper faith. This is what happened to Simon. He had been washing
the nets while listening to Jesus. Like many of us, Simon had to
provide for his family. So Simon thought he couldn't spend the whole
day with Jesus. But, Jesus had other plans.

Jesus asked Simon to sit in his boat and pull it from the shore. Then
after he had finished teaching the people, he told Simon to sail into
deeper water to catch fish. This movement from shallow water into
deeper water is an analogy of what Jesus was trying to do with Simon's
faith. Jesus was taking Simon from his superficial, half-hearted and
casual attention of his teachings, to a deeper, more personal real
commitment to God.

Simon protested mildly, saying, "Master, we have worked hard all night
and have not caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down
the nets". Jesus takes us from where we are, to where he wants us to be
by presenting us with challenges. Jesus challenges us, ever so gently,
sometimes with words, sometimes with actions, to move us away from our
level of stability, symbolized by the shallow water near the shore, to
a place where we become more dependent on him, symbolized by the deeper

We may mildly argue with him, saying, "Lord, I've already been there
and done that. I've already tried reading the Bible, I've already
prayed, and it hasn't worked." Hopefully, we won't be discouraged by
the Lord's challenges but instead continue to say, "but if this is what
you want me to do to go once again from where I am now, then so be it."

Jesus wants to take us from our comfortable shoreline to a deeper place
where we will find more food for our soul and be more dependent on him.
These situations may appear in our lives as illnesses or other crisis
- to us or to someone we love. We may feel that we are suddenly
drifting away from a predictable and stable life to a place that is
more mysterious and challenging, where we can't see bottom. But when
this occurs, we should remind ourselves that it is God taking us there
and He is not abandoning us to be alone in coping with that crisis. He
is actually using that situation to guide us to a more meaningful
relationship with him.

Even if we are unsure where the boat is going, we must realize that
Jesus is sitting in the boat with us. To know that the captain of the
boat is with us is very comforting. The captain knows where we are
going; it is a journey towards deeper water so that we may know him

"Lord, fill my heart with love and compassion for those who do not know
you or follow you. May I be a good witness of your truth and salvation
to my family, friends, and co-workers."

We pray ...
1. That God may show himself a Father to those who lack food, clothing
and shelter due to the hurricane Katrina that swept the Gulf Coast
region of the United States.
2. That those who have gone before us in faith, especially those who
have died during the hurricane, may receive the reward of eternal life.
3. That God will bless the survivors of hurricane Katrina, their
children and their families and give them the strength in times of
trials and give them the courage to combat the forces from within and
from without which threaten their stability and survival.
4. That the relatives and friends may help the surviving families in
their time of great need, as they seek comfort and sustaining grace to
help them cope and adjust the loss of lives and properties.
5. That God may ease their burdens and make their faith strong that
they may always have confidence and trust in your Fatherly care.

- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the good health & special intentions of Elsa and Paolo
- for the special intentions of Donna.
- for the personal intentions of Twink Beldia Palacio.
- for Genevieve. May the Blessed Mother help her to find inner
strength, joy and peace of mind.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam: Ellen Young Dy (1928 - 1998)
- In Memoriam: Marie Louise Cheng Fainsan
- In Memoriam: Tan Ching Pay
- In Memoriam: Manuel L. Villanueva
- for world peace and reconciliation.
- for the approval of visa application for Demetria M. Guevarra
- for the soul of Isaac B. Guevarra and Concordia Montero Guevarra.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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