After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking (Luke 5:4-7).
Today’s Gospel is a beautiful story of obedience and trust. Simon Peter is exhausted from being up all night working, throwing out his net again and again. Despite the tremendous effort, it has been in vain. Yet when Jesus tells him to cast his nets again, the same nets that have yielded nothing all night, he obeys. How often do we feel the frustration and exhaustion of Simon? We wash the kitchen floor only to have our children and the dog run over it. We spend time and effort helping a particular child learn how to relate to a sibling, only to have him go outside and do exactly the opposite. As mothers, how often do we look at the work of our hands and wonder, “What am I really accomplishing?”
Jesus is with us in this boat. We are out in the water because he has called us there, and even when it seems our efforts are in vain, he is with us on the water to assure us they are not in vain. The key to Simon seeing the fruit of his labor is obedience and trust. He obeys even though it seem futile. He reminds Jesus that he has, in fact, been fishing all night and has received nothing. “But at your command I will lower my nets.” He trusts Jesus even when it seems foolish to do so. He could have said, “No.” He could have complained and told Jesus that to lower the nets again would be ridiculous, and how could he even suggest such a stupid thing! Yet he obeys, and he believes that Jesus has good things in store for him. Jesus is never outdone in generosity. Not only does Simon catch enough fish to make up for his hours of labor, he catches even more than his nets can handle. This is the love of Christ! We obey, even in our exhaustion, especially when we are weary, and Christ overwhelms us with his love and provision. We can give him our weary hearts. We need to stay with him in the boat, and he will give us all that we need and more. All he asks is that we lower our nets.
PRAYER: Lord meet me in my weariness. Be present to me when my efforts seem to be in vain. I am trying to do all you have called me to do, but I cannot do it alone. Help me to drop my nets and trust you; I know you are always good and always faithful. Thank you for calling me out into the waters with you. May I keep growing in faith, obedience, and trust. Amen