In every age, Lord, you have been our refuge. Fortunately, we had at least one cheerful reminder in the midst of the pessimistic reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes, and the tyrant who beheaded John the Baptist mocked Jesus, had Him dressed in purple, and returned Him to Pilate for condemnation.
Jesus went up a mountain and there he stayed the night praying to God. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what this could have been like. Were any words exchanged? Maybe none were needed.
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Put out in the deep waters and lower your nets for a catch. When Jesus told Peter to do this, Peter more or less answered Jesus, saying, “been there, done that.” Peter basically told Jesus that he had tried that before, but it didn’t work. It seems to me that Peter quickly regretted his response and said something like, “well ok, I’ll give it another try.” He gave it another try, and we saw what happened. Peter was taken aback by the number of fish he caught.
This past week I realized one of my lifetime dreams to visit the famous shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. During the visit, I was surprised to hear the former Rector of the Shrine tell me that he personally knew Father Peyton and was deeply impressed by Father Peyton’s commitment to help families pray around the world.
Today, people stay awake all night for a variety of reasons: in our homes, mothers stay awake with sick children; in workplaces—nurses look after their patients at night, pilots and drivers in public transporting systems work for the wellbeing of society, police and other first responders work for the safety of us and our loved ones. All of these jobs require staying awake, discipline, and sacrifice.
God meets us where we are and invites us to meet Him where He is! In the stormy circumstances of our lives, when we are gripped with fear and doubts, God enters into the place where we are physically and spiritually, and invites us to meet Him where He is, as Jesus did with Peter in today’s gospel.