In today’s Gospel we are introduced to the potential and to the poverty of St. Peter. Throughout the Gospel we see faith and fear mixed in the man who would become, after Jesus’ Resurrection, the leader of the Apostles and the vicar of Christ on earth. After a long night of fishing an itinerant rabbi asks to use his boat in order to take advantage of the natural acoustics of being out on the water, and also to give his listeners a better view. Was Peter hoping Jesus would give him something? Was he performing an act of charity? The Gospel account isn’t clear, but he let Our Lord into his boat and, in a certain sense, into his world. As Peter soon found out, Jesus expected something much greater from him.
We don’t know if he listened to much of Our Lord’s teaching as he sat in his boat, since he was tired after a long night of fishing, but Jesus encouraged him to cast out the nets and Peter responded with trust, even if maybe he was just humoring him. The amazing catch was a response to Peter in a language he could understand. In that moment he realized Our Lord was asking him for far more than a shuttle service, and that he was not just another itinerant rabbi. Suddenly Peter knew that Our Lord understood his world too. Disciples usually asked their rabbis if they could be disciples, but Jesus came looking for his disciples in order to teach them to catch something far more elusive: men. Peter knew his weakness, but Our Lord knew it too. In the end, even though it presented a few more hurdles, Peter’s weakness did not prevent either of them from accomplishing their mission.
Our Lord wants to step into your world. He wants to build the bridge between yours and his. However he invites you, and no matter what your anxiety and concerns, accept his invitation and he will help you to succeed.
Readings: Colossians 1:9–14; Psalm 98:2–6; Luke 5:1–11.