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Thursday, September 3, 2015

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Pope St. Gregory the Great

Colossians 1:9-14
Psalm 98:2-6
Luke 5:1-11

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"They...left everything, and became His followers." —Luke 5:11

Once St. Peter saw that Jesus, the Carpenter, knew far more about fishing than he did, he realized he didn't need a boat or nets to have a great catch. All he needed was Jesus. Peter knew how to fish in the Sea of Galilee, but in an instant, he realized that in comparison to Jesus, he knew nothing. In that moment, Peter then knew that nothing brought fruitfulness like following Jesus in everything. The accomplishments of a lifetime of fishing didn't begin to compare with what could be accomplished through obedience to every command Jesus gave.

So Peter left everything. He abandoned his nets, his boat, and his business. He left his money, his house, and his land. He counted it all as loss compared to the gain of knowing and following Jesus (see Phil 3:8). With nothing weighing him down, Peter could squeeze "through the narrow gate" (Mt 7:13). By giving up everything, nothing held Peter back from of "a life of obedience to Jesus Christ" (1 Pt 1:2).

It costs everything to purchase the pearl of great price (Mt 13:46). Yet even when we give up all for Jesus, we might still be attached in some way to what we left behind. Jesus said that if anyone tries to serve Him while looking back fondly at what they left behind, that person is "unfit for the reign of God" (Lk 9:62). Therefore, pray for an increase in obedient faith in the Lord Jesus. Then leave everything and "put out into the deep" with Him (see Lk 5:4).

Prayer:  Father, may Jesus increase while I decrease (Jn 3:30). May I count it all joy to give everything for Your beloved Son.

Promise:  "He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son." —Col 1:13

Praise:  Pope St. Gregory the Great had a zeal for the missions to bring the Gospel to the Anglo-Saxons, which he did after being elected pope.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 18, 2015

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