One day, as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, with a crowd gathered around him listening to the word of God, he caught sight of two boats, left at the water’s edge by fishermen, now washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a little from the shore. There he sat, and continued to teach the crowd.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will lower the nets.” This they did, and caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. They signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came, and they filled both boats almost to the point of sinking.
Upon seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and his companions were amazed at the catch they had made, and so were Simon’s partners, James and John, Zebedee’s sons.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. You will catch people from now on.” So they brought their boats to land and followed him, leaving everything.
In today’s first reading the apostle Paul makes a strange statement by saying: “Everything belongs to you…Everything is yours, and you, you belong to Christ, and Christ is of God.”
Is everything in this world really mine? Well, God seemed to say so when he told Adam and Eve: “Fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish… the birds… all living things” (Gen 1:28). Even a divine institution like the Sabbath, Jesus tells us, is meant to serve our needs: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27). The same is true for any law or institution or human invention. They all belong to us, while we belong to Christ. In what sense do we belong to Christ? In the sense that Christ redeemed us by his bloody death on the cross (1 P 1:18; Rev 5:9; Ti 2:14; etc.). That is why addictions—not just to drugs, but to anything: gambling, food, alcohol, video games, etc.—are so contrary to God’s will. Addicts do not belong to Christ anymore but instead belong to whatever they are addicted to. And that is indeed a tragedy. For we are made for Christ. Only in Christ can we find our true peace of heart and our true happiness.
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