September 3, 2015
(St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church)
While sitting in their boat by the shore, Jesus 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.” Lk 5:1-11
Bit of a longer quote today, but well worth it, as there are several lessons here. First off, we need to note the timing. Simon and his company had just finished a very bad day of fishing. They were washing the lake scum from their nets to get ready for tomorrow’s attempt, which they hoped might be a little better than today’s, and Jesus comes by asking for them to go out again, in the boat and dump the nets.
Well – give – me – a – break! We just proved that there is nothing to catch. We just washed the nets. And we’re tired! BUT . . . “at your command” we will (grumpily) do it. And so they did…
Ever have Jesus ask you to do something that just doesn’t make any sense! Well, you know what, beloved, our sense isn’t quite the same as God’s. And you know what else? The fact is – that God, just may know a little bit more than us!!! And THAT’s the big hitch. How willing are we to trust in God, over our own sensibilities? Simon Peter did just that, maybe a little grumpily, but he did it none the less! And the reward? The reward was beyond anything imaginable! They caught so many fish that the boats were over-loaded.
And that was just the beginning! Seeing, what we might truly call a “miracle,” something clicked in their minds. THIS isn’t just a very charismatic preacher. This isn’t just an exorcist of demons or another healing magician. THIS IS GOD! And in recognizing God in their midst, all of a sudden, Peter and the others realized how sinful they were, to even be in the presence of such Divinity!
Ever, accidentally bump into someone famous, beloved? I remember many years ago, while visiting Boston, almost bumping into the famous, Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, in the middle of an outdoor market. He was getting out of his stretch limo and had an entourage of body guards protecting him from just that kind of “bump.” But it was something that I’ll never forget. One of those Ohhhhh moments.
Here was Peter trying to convince Jesus that another fishing trip that day was clearly not worth it. And there was Peter swallowing his pride when Jesus proved to him – just the opposite!
Ever have those arguments with God, beloved? Maybe that’s the best time to KNOW that God is ALWAYS right! We are simply sinful little creatures. Forgive us Lord, and help us to let go of that humanly pride of ours, so that the TRUE miracles of Yours will fill our lives with Your awesome love for us!
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