September 1, 2016
My dear friends,
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells His disciples to cast their nets into deep water. Peter begrudgingly concedes to Jesus’ command to find that this act of trust and obedience had a yield far exceeding that of his own efforts to bring in fish.
I can relate to Peter’s hesitation to cast his nets into the deep waters. Firstly because of the terrifying creatures that, thanks to National Geographic, I know live down there (which I will pray for today because it’s the World Day of Prayer for Creation even though they’re the stuff of nightmares). But secondly, and more seriously, because the depths are dark and unknown to us. The first retreat I went on in my adult life was titled “Put Out Into the Deep,” and I remember a fear and questioning not unlike what one feels before the first time you ever dive into the deep end of the pool. I had just started practicing my faith, and I was just getting acquainted with the surface of the waters of relationship with Jesus. My mind couldn’t help but wonder what I would find if I dove to the depths, if I would know where I was going, and how/when I would come back to the surface.
It turns out that the deep is the only place we can drown our fears and plans and stubbornness so that God can shock us into believing in Him. The deep is the place where His voice is heard, His forgiveness bestowed, His grace received, and His will known. The deep is where the catch is. My friends, He is calling each and every one of us to put out into the deep. He is coaxing us constantly toward the depths of His heart. Follow Peter’s example: do as He says. And He will draw from those depths graces that we couldn’t bring about if we spent our whole lives trying.
Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!