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.
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, Beloved of my Soul, enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me, tell me what I ought to do, and command me to do it. I promise to be submissive in all you permit to happen to me, only show me what is Thy most Holy Will. Amen
There is a beautiful hymn; “Pie Jesu” and it is echoing in my heart, as I heard it played recently at the funeral of a dear friend of ours. “Pie Jesu, Pie Jesu”….. “Faithful Jesus, Faithful Jesus.” The older I grow the more I have come to know in Truth, that Jesus is Truly Faithful! I love this Gospel passage because we see this Faithfulness of Jesus to Peter (and to us). As Jesus speaks to Peter we can see something very beautiful happening inside the heart of Peter, we see His Faith ‘put into action’ by the concrete decision to “Obey” the Word of God. Peter and the other disciples, have been working hard all night trying to catch fish but to no avail. "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing. They have done this action many times before, by their own impetus, initiative, and desire and for a result, but this time there is no result. Why? Perhaps something is about to change, not in their work, but in their knowledge of Jesus and in their the results and this change will hinge on one thing: Believing and following His Word. “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.”
In my own journey I have known this in a very personal way, many times over. I recall when I was stationed in Phoenix, I had bad asthma. Not long after being sent there, I was transferred to Los Angeles mission house. I didn’t understand why I was being moved there, when I was already sick with asthma. Los Angeles being a basin, the smog was tough on breathing. It was illogical. Yet that was where I was being sent. When I arrived there my heart was still ‘not in line’ with the Lord’s will. Everyday I would come into the chapel, before the other sisters arrived and after genuflecting I would pray; Good morning Dear Jesus, I love you my Jesus, get me out of here! After about a month of that, it came into my heart that I was not happy but I was the reason for my own unhappiness. I was ‘holding out’ on Jesus, I didn’t surrender myself to Him totally. I wanted things to make sense to my thinking. Part of me was “reserved.” So I said to Jesus; “all right, if you want me here, I will be here!” Yet I knew in my heart, I didn’t give Jesus my all, I didn’t give Him my complete assent of mind and heart to His will and I knew it by my lack of peace. So the following day I said to the Lord…”Forgive me, I love you Jesus, I will be here as long as you will, because you will. It does not make sense to me why I am here, but I believe in your Tender Love for me, and I love you Jesus. I will take you at your Word and follow your Word and do as you have asked me to do, because You have asked it of me.” An ocean of peace flooded my soul! He educated my heart, as to the blessings He bestows on those who obey. Immediately within a day my house superior received a phone call from our Regional superior and I was told I was being transferred to the San Francisco Regional mission house. It struck me so profoundly I have never forgotten that teaching moment. To take Jesus at His Word whether it makes sense to me or not, is all He is asking of me, that assent of Faith- that surrender to the Father, shown in the concrete form of Obedience. It is priceless and precious to Him because with my free will I choose to obey. I can recall very clearly, the movement in my heart when I chose to place my Faith in Him, when I chose to Trust in His Faithfulness to me, I would express it as two equally present movements within me of Joy and Peace!!! And I have seen that reoccur every time I have followed His Word with Faith and Love.
Close your eyes, and open your heart to Jesus. What are you holding onto, what are you judging as right or foolish, what are you seeking Him to clarify or explain and ‘set right’ before you will say “yes” to Him? What human judgement is Jesus asking you to sacrifice, trusting in His Faithfulness and Love?
“Let Jesus use you without consulting you, then you will truly be His” (St Mother Teresa)
+Prayer: Jesus I love you! Increase my Faith and teach me to pray, as you taught your disciples. Amen