Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
What Parts of Our Lives Need New Life?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus comes upon a situation of need and changes it into one of abundance. Peter and his companions have spent a whole night fishing and caught nothing, but at Jesus’ word, they put down their nets and catch so many fish it takes two boats to hold them all.
Another time, the disciples find that there are only five loaves of bread and a couple of fish to feed five thousand people who have spent all day listening to Jesus. But Jesus blesses these few items, and suddenly there is enough for everyone, with baskets of scraps left over. Another time, when there is only water left to drink at a wedding banquet, Jesus changes the water into wine.
The point is, Jesus often brings new life to situations that seem to be hopeless. Have we ever experienced this in our lives or the lives of people we know? Are we willing to bring those situations to Christ?
More than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference;
the initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands.
—Pedro Arrupe, SJ