Thursday, September 03, 2020

Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great

“Put out into the deep waters and lower your nets,” tells Jesus to Simon Peter and the other disciples. But they have been fishing all night and have caught nothing, what good would this do now? After all, they are tired and tried their best, with no catch. Trust. Put out into deep waters....

At times, it seems like we are running on empty, thinking that all of our efforts to keep things going in life, at work, in the home, seem to do nothing but bring exhaustion. We can’t seem to “catch” our breath, let alone a net load of fish!! Jesus wants to enter our feelings of discouragement, our loneliness, our helplessness and put out into “deep waters” of trust.

When we surrender to Christ, as did Simon Peter, everything will work out, somehow. When we are in those deep waters, we can’t feel the bottom, we tread the waters of fear. Let go... fear is useless, what is needed is trust. Jesus said those words. The inner security we all long for can only be given to us by God, a God who entered humanity on OUR terms, embracing our tenuous and fragile lives. Christ wasn’t shielded from pain and suffering, no, he embraced the brokenness by being broken.

Cross. Crucifixion. Resurrection.

Christ “catches” us no matter what and embraces us in our brokenness. He “lifts” us up and out of the waters of chaos, those deep waters of fear, and into a life of abundance. When Peter witnessed the large catch of fish, he wept... tears of sadness that he didn’t trust and tears of joy that he surrendered to love. I’ll bet Peter could have walked in water, and he would, later on in another gospel story of trust.

What’s the rest of the story? Jesus telling the disciples that now they must “catch people.” Jesus is pleading with us TODAY, in a time of pandemic and a time of much racial tension, to catch people in the net of love, leading to justice, leading to peace. It all begins, not with justice, but love, a reality sorely missing in many of our reactions/responses to the racism that plagues our culture.

Fr. Frank