Today the reading is telling us about Our Lord standing by the Lake of Genesaret, and while He was standing there at a distance there were men washing their fishing nets. Jesus entered into one of the ships which belonged to Simon Peter, and He asked Simon to go out away from the shore and He began to use the ship as a pulpit in order to teach the bystanders. After the Lord had finished teaching the people he told Peter to take the ship out into the deep water and to let down the nets. Peter retorted and said that he was fishing all night and had caught nothing. Nevertheless Simon Peter did as he was told and he and the others on the ship caught a multitude of fish and their nets began to break as they were pulling them in.
There is always more than one theme or message in every Gospel reading. Today we are talking about Faith and also Transformation. Too many times in our lives we ask the questions: why? And how? Lord, why do you want me to cast out my net and how am I going to catch any fish since we were out in these waters all night and were in no way successful. This is a story of faith; blind faith. Faith is to believe when common sense tells us something is not possible. Faith is to believe when the waves of the water are hitting the sides of our ship and we feel that we are going to sink. Faith is to believe that all is going to work out really good even though the waves which are all around us are hitting against us so hard.
We begin to see that the ship might be you and I, and that the anxiety and problems of this world are the waves, and that the net is being let down into the water by the hand of Our Lord, and He is bringing us unto safety. Jesus is going to bring us unto Himself and He is going to give each one of us a net and He is going to teach us how to use this net in order to bring people unto Him. At the end of reading today when Simon had caught the abundance of fish by having faith in the command of Christ, He realized that Jesus was more than just a man; that He is the Son of God. Do we feel our Lord within our souls? Do we connect with our Lord in faith? Do we keep Him close to us by receiving Him in the Sacraments? Do we live with Jesus in prayer? Faith can only be increased through prayer and receiving of the Holy Sacraments. When we nourish our faith and our Savior ask us to put out our nets we will do so with no fear, and when the waves hit our ship on all sides; no matter how strong the waves are we will remember that the waves are not in charge, and that the wind is not in charge of our lives, and that Christ is in charge to bring us to safety with His net.
Glory Be to Jesus Christ!
Rev. Paul Bigelow.