Peter, a humble fisherman, experienced a profound encounter with the Divine that speaks to our daily experiences and struggles. Just imagine, after a night of tireless effort, Peter and his companions found their nets bursting with an abundance of fish. Their hopes must have soared as they anticipated the ease of selling such a catch. It's natural for us to think, "If Jesus could do it once, why not invite Him as a business partner for a joint venture?" Yet, Luke's Gospel surprises us.
Instead of inviting Jesus into his business, Peter and his companions "left everything and followed Jesus." This decision reveals the profound truth that sometimes, in the face of divine generosity, our response must be one of generosity. Peter took a risk, a leap of faith, and indeed, answering Christ's call always involves an element of risk, whether it's a call to religious life, married life, or any significant decision.
From our baptism, God calls us to be His co-workers, His missionaries. Our families, workplaces, and communities are the seas where the Lord wants us to cast our nets and bring people closer to Him.
Are you afraid? Do you feel unworthy? Fear not, for you are in the company of Peter, and Jesus tells you as well: "Don't be afraid!" These words echo through time, offering courage and hope to all who feel the weight of life's challenges.
In 2000, Pope John Paul II penned an Apostolic Letter to guide the Church into the 21st century. He introduced a theme that he repeated often: "Duc in altum — Put out into the deep!" These are the exact words Jesus spoke to a weary Peter after a fruitless night of fishing: Put out into the deep. How often do we echo Peter's sentiments, saying, "Master, we have worked hard all night..." feeling tired, exhausted, and convinced that our efforts have been in vain?
These moments of resignation, my dear friends, are familiar to us all. Priests who see little fruit from their labor, teachers whose students seem unreceptive, parents who watch their children drift away from faith — we've all experienced moments when we've wanted to give up.But it is precisely in these moments that Jesus calls us to cast our nets into the deep, to go beyond our comfort zones, and to trust in His guidance. He urges us not to give up, to start again, to keep trying, and to remember that He is with us every step.
Life's challenges may seem insurmountable, but as we cast our nets again, we'll experience the miraculous catch from trusting the Lord. When we think we're too far from our goal, we find that we're closer than we realized.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, let us take this message to heart. Don't be discouraged, and don't give up. As we navigate life's storms, remember that you are not alone. Keep on trying, for the Lord is with you. Together, we can embrace the call to be missionaries amid life's challenges, trusting that our efforts will yield an abundant catch.
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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.
Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.