At every Mass, before the priest or deacon proclaim the Gospel - he silently prays: Cleanse my heart and my lips Almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim the holy Gospel. Praying this is the only way a man can stand before the congregation and proclaim the word of God. And as soon as He announces the Gospel, he signs the Gospel book, himself, and everyone else in the congregation signs themselves with the cross on the forehead, lips, and breast. We all pray to be cleansed by the word of God as we listen to it.
Last Sunday, we heard how God touches the tongue of Jeremiah, saying: I place my words in your mouth. (Jer. 1:4-9) Today, we hear the three vocation stories of Isaiah, Paul, and Peter. One thing common to all of them, they know that they are not worthy of their call but put their trust in Him who calls.
In the call of Peter, the Lord climbs into his boat, symbolic of the whole life of Peter. Climbing into our boats is how the Lord often approaches us; He comes in His way and in His own time. We are not even aware of it most of the time – at home, at work, at school, while driving, and during the many busy moments of our day.
After spending the whole night fishing and catching nothing, Peter must have been tired, frustrated, and discouraged. But look at how the Lord’s mercy works with us in our trials. When everything is well, there is a temptation to think that we don’t need the Lord. Sometimes the Lord allows us to experience setbacks and failures so that we will be more disposed to hear His words and accept Him when He comes. Before Jesus got into Peter’s boat, He prepared his heart. In the same way, before we even realize God is doing something, He is preparing a way for us.
When we have a big catch, are we like Peter? When Peter caught an abundant number of fish, he fell on his knees saying; Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man. How many of us would instantaneously do the same, filled with blessings and abundance - would acknowledge, would be grateful, and kneel before God. Let us put God back at the main altar of our lives. Let us take the path of humility in our journey to God’s heart and not be discouraged by setbacks and failures.
Jesus tells Peter to put out into the deep water and lower the nets again after a frustrating night without a catch. Peter was probably listening to Jesus preaching; he sees something extraordinary out of this man: If you say so, I will lower the nets. We can call this faith, obedience, or trust. The miracle of catching a large number of fish led Peter to realize who Jesus is, and it changed his life forever.
The Synod of Synodality 2022 is the Church’s attempt to Duc in Altum. Too often, we fear the future and the unknown, Duc in Altum, but going into the deep could be a way to seek comfort, assurance, and peace in God’s word: For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord; plans for your welfare and not for woe; plans to give you a future full of hope. (Jer. 29: 11)BACK TO LIST