Gospel: Lk 5:1-11
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 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.
“Duc in altum!“ Jesus ordered Simon. “Put out into deep water!“ What did Simon do? He agreed to do so, because Jesus commanded it. He caught such a large number of fish that his net began to break. He had to call for help. He also realized the extent of his own sinfulness and begged Jesus to leave him. Fortunately, Jesus would not; instead, he would ask Simon to follow him.
Putting out into the deep can be dangerous. The depths are unchartered territories. You never know what resides in the depths, and what sins—yours and others‘—would surface when you explore the depths in yourself and in other people. Your nets—the resources you have—may begin to break. You will be forced to call for help, even from your competitors. The catch you make could be a mixture of good, bad, and ugly fish. Is it all worth the risk? It is, when done at the command of Jesus, for it can lead to self-awareness and humility that will open us up towards God‘s purposes.