One day, as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, with a crowd gathered around him listening to the word of God, He caught sight of two boats left at the water's edge by the fishermen now washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a little from the shore. There He sat and continued to teach the crowd.
When He had finished speaking He said to Simon, «Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch». Simon replied, «Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will lower the nets». This they did and caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. They signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats almost to the point of sinking. Upon seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus' knees, saying, «Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!». For he and his companions were amazed at the catch they had made and so were Simon's partners, James and John, Zebedee's sons. Jesus said to Simon, «Do not be afraid. You will catch people from now on». So they brought their boats to land and followed him, leaving everything.
O Peter, come with me, leaving behind you net and people, and let’s walk together. I may be a carpenter, but still you will listen to me. I know that you are tired of full night work, without any hope. However, you will listen to me and help me to preach. Are you ready to listen to Jesus?
Peter, you may be thinking that the preaching I did, it was meant for the people. In truth, it was for you. I am happy that in silence and discretion, you were with me, and following my teaching, taking them very deep into your heart. Do you listen to Jesus?
Peter, I do appreciate your courage to listen to me. May be I have asked you to do little more than your capacities, as you keep thinking into your heart. In truth, you don’t know yourself, and your capacity. It’s here that I ask you to push the boat to the sea once again to give you hope and now to cast the net and try again, against all your disapointments and brokeness. It’s all in you and with the sea to respond to you. The whole world will listen to you, provided you are with me and do what I ask you to do. Are you ready to do something, even if they are against your will, simply because your parents, or teachers or elders ask you to do?
Peter, have courage. I know your weakness and also your strength. I have a lot of confidence in you and in your capacity. It is in you and in your weakness that I wish that my Church be build, so that all those who are weak like you, may find the Hope in my Church. Don’t be afraid of your weakness, that I am with you and transform you.
Peter, from today on, you are mine and hold on me. I have called and consecrated you. You are a roc that you yourself may not understand today. You will understand everything later. Today, follow me. Take a risk in life and with me, you won’t be disappointed. Do you wish to follow Jesus?
Action of the day: Be Peter today.
«Put out into deep water»
Fr. Pedro IGLESIAS Martínez
(Rubí, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, we are still surprised at how those fishermen were capable of leaving everything behind, their job, their families, to follow Jesus («They brought their boats to land and followed him, leaving everything»: Lk 5:11), precisely when He manifested himself before them as an exceptional collaborator for the business which they lived from. If Jesus of Nazareth would make the same proposal to us, in our 21st century..., would we have as much courage as those other men had?; should we be able to sense which is the true gain for us?
We Christians believe that Christ is ever present; this resurrected Christ, therefore, requests us, not only to Peter, John or James, but to George, Joe, Paula, and all of us who accept him as our Lord, that we accept him —from Luke's text— in the boat of our life for He wants to rest by our side; He requests us to let him make use of us, to allow him to show us where He wants to guide our existence to, so we can become productive amid a society which every day is more far away and in need of God's Good News. The proposal is quite attractive, we need only to know how are we, and if we really wish, to manage to get rid of our fears, of our worries about what people may “say” or “think” and set a course for deeper waters, or what is equivalent, to horizons which may be farther away than those restricting our quotidian mediocrity of anguish and disappointments. «He who stumbles on his way, no matter how little he moves forward, always gets somewhat closer to the end of his journey; but he who runs out of his way, the more he runs the farther he gets from the end of his trip» (St. Thomas Aquinas).
«Duc in altum»; «To pull out a little from the shore» (Lk 5:4): let us try not to rest by the shore of a world that lives by contemplating its navel! Our navigation through the seas of life has to take us towards the harbor on the promise land, the end of our course in this Heaven long waited for, which is a gift from the Father, but, indivisible too, the work of man —yours, mine— from the service to others in the Church's boat. Christ knows quite well the fishing grounds; it all depends upon us: or in our harbor of selfishness, or towards his horizons.