As a child growing up around Lake Erie, there were many occasions to set out early in the morning on one of the many fishing boats. And as may be there were times when we sat out all morning with nothing to show for our efforts. Professionals we were not. And as we came to shore we were exhausted for our efforts. None of us would even think about going out again that day!

In our Gospel today, we find Jesus sitting in Simon Peter’s boat after the crowds have gone. Jesus knows that Peter is exhausted from his own efforts at fishing all night. He knows that he has caught nothing, but even still he turns to Peter and invites him to do something. “Go out into the deep water,” he says, “and there let down your nets.” It sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? But is it really? What is Jesus really asking here?

Jesus  is asking Simon Peter to trust him. To trust him so much that Peter would be willing to leave the shallow places in his life and in his work and begin to explore the depths. To go to the limits of what he thinks is possible, not only for him but for those all around him. “Go out into the deep water,” says Jesus, “trust me and see what happens.”

Peter becomes a model for discipleship. It happens in the moment when Peter responds to Jesus’ call and says, “but, if you say so.” Then off he goes—perhaps reluctantly—out into the deep water and there he finds abundance like he has never imagined.

Jesus doesn’t call Peter to be anything other than who he is. He doesn’t call Peter to be a rabbi like him, or even to a career in carpentry. Jesus calls Peter to live in the depths of his own life, not to try to live out Jesus’ life. Peter remains at heart a fisherman who has a heart for Jesus and for the humanity that Jesus serves.

For most of us, Jesus does not come in dramatic ways.  Rather, he comes in the ordinary events of the day. Our ordinary daily living can be a radical response to Jesus. The Good News is that God calls us as precisely we are and works through our humanity.

4 Comments

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  1. Hello, I stumbled across this website as I was working on mine.. I had written an article called “Go deep!” with Christ and wanted to share. May the Lord’s face shine upon you. Thank you for your obedience in sharing the word.

    In Love,

    joseph

  2. The Lord is amazing praise him!

  3. The setting of the gospel on a lake and the reference to Lake Erie reminds me how much I value the outdoors as a place for reflection. I love walking along the beach in Conneaut, Ohio no matter what season of the year it is. I often feel God’s love and presnce and that helps me to trust God more. If I am in a disposition of openness, God can lead me and mold me and use me better.

  4. I used to work near the shores of Lake Erie. In the summer months I was often the beneficiary of the hard work of those who fished through the night. Those people knew lots more about fishing than I ever will. I wonder what humility and courage it took for Peter to follow the words of Jesus, a non-fisher. It is always a little scary to trust someone, especially if they are asking you to go deeper. Staying on the surface is always safer. But I am not sure it makes for fullness of life. I always wonder – what more does God want of me? Do I have the courage and the humility to listen to God’s word, no matter how it is presented to me?

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