A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to 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 fisherman 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 the 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 and 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."
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest, and in my soul, take up Your rest.
As we read and reread this passage slowly, and ponder it, my heart rests on one main thought, the "lesson for the disciple" (us), which is different than the lesson given to the crowd. This lesson for the disciple, must take place in the deep water, in a place of total vulnerability, total investment. You are all in, all vested, no hold outs, every ounce of you is out there, in the deep water WITH JESUS, in a place of total trust. You feel the insecurity from the elements you find yourself surrounded by, yet, you feel the utter security of being totally in the hands of the Lord, the great assurance that all is in His control, this security is a learned lesson.
Take a moment to ponder this thought; Have you ever been in a boat, in deep water? The smaller the boat and the deeper the water, you experience fear. Now, add to that being told to do a task that you are familiar with and are good at usually, yet you haven't succeeded much in it lately. Your confidence is chipped away at and you are not so eager to keep working at it. This is the case of Peter, yet he makes that act of faith and does what the Lord tells him to do, He trusts and the great miracle occurs. This is the faith our Lord asks of us, to do the same thing, but to expect and trust a different result, when we obey His voice. He wants to teach us a Truth of great magnitude. And what is that Truth? Success is His! Fidelity is ours! If we do our part, that is all He is asking. Do not be afraid of failure, just do as He says and Trust His Word with total Confidence!
Let us watch Peter. Peter rows the boat out a bit, close to shore as Jesus has asked him but this is not where the lesson takes place, it only happens out in the deep waters. That seems a very important point to ponder. The place our Lord chose to teach the disciples. The Lord could have chosen to talk to them about total dependence close to shore, by just using a parable. But he didn't this time, why? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that our Lord knows us so well, He knows our humanity. We need to know Him in the heart, by the heart's encounter of Him, the Heart is the place of encounter. Where we wrestle with fears, with frustrations, with trials, doubts and questions. We cannot know Him through head knowledge only. It is not enough to be told to trust Him, we must learn who He is and who He wants to be for us, in these moments, in the deep waters of living by faith in life. Here we come to know Him and who He wants to be for us, and who He wants us to be for Him. This passage is so beautiful because He wants us to partake in His work, He so longs to share His life with us. He wants us to know the power of His Word, that it accomplishes what it says.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a poor sinner, teach me who you are, at this moment in my life, in all that it holds, in all the ways it challenges me to trust and to obey your voice. Guide me to do your will Lord, speak, your servant is listening. Amen