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.
Frustration … You can sense the frustration in the voice of Simon Peter when he says, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing.” You can sense the frustration of the fishermen not being successful. The initial response from Simon Peter to Jesus’ command, “put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch” is one of frustration and reluctance to follow Jesus. However, despite his frustration, Simon Peter says, “at your command I will lower the nets,” and the catch was overabundant.
How many times do we get frustrated when things do not go our way? What excuses do we make to ourselves and to God for not living a life of prayer and service to others? For the fishermen, “they left everything and followed him.” Can we say the same?
—Joseph Hamaty is the Executive Director of Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Dallas, Texas.
Lord Jesus, I humbly ask for the grace of surrender to you. I desire to put aside all obstacles that are keeping me from a life rooted in you. Give me the courage to abandon my own desires and follow you.
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