WE CAN'T CONTROL HOW MANY FISH WE'LL CATCH

Daily Mass Homily for Thursday, Sept 3, 2015.  Readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/090315.cfm


St Peter is one of my favorites - probably because I find him so relatable.  Last night we heard how he has just cured his mother-in-law from a terrible fever, cured countless others in Capernaum...  He’s already begun to experience the miraculous power of Jesus Christ in his own life.  Yet today we see his humanity re-emerging: with it’s doubts, its objections, its fears.  Peter has had a lousy night fishing, they caught nothing, he’s tired, he’s probably frustrated.  So when Jesus says “go back out” his immediate thought is to argue, to object, maybe to whine even:
We’ve been out all night...

As if Jesus didn’t see that or notice that.

Upon following Jesus commands though - Peter has this massive catch - so much so that the boats are in danger of sinking.

Of the many things we can focus and reflect on from this passage, the one aspect that hits me today is the need for faithfulness on our part.  To let God be God and to recognize that we are not God.  I don’t think we intend to forget that, but we get distracted or delusional - as we make so many plans; as we have so many ideas that we think are superior;  as we think we have control over situations (or even more dangerously control over people)...

      We are not God.  And every once in awhile, that awareness hits us when we recognize - we can’t control how many fish we will catch.

The thing is, in the face of that frustrating realization.... when things don't go the way we planned or the way we wanted them to, what do we do?  Do we obsess about which net we used, what direction the current was flowing, what we did differently this time from the last time that resulted in this failure?  Some self-reflection is good, but not if it leads us to forget that basic, essential truth We are not God.  We need to acknowledge Jesus as the Lord of our lives, recognize our sinfulness which often causes us to forget Him convince ourselves we can do it on our own (or even more sadly that we are simply on our own).  To see Jesus is looking for our faithfulness and our readiness to listen to His commands, His invitations – go out into the deep...

The next time we have a lousy night fishing... when life knocks us on our butts, when the inexplicable happens;  after a normal, healthy, understandable and quite human reaction of disappointment and frustration, we should challenge ourselves to ask - Where is Jesus in my life?  Can we - will we - acknowledge our sinfulness and our dependency on the only Lord who can (and desires) to fill our boats with abundance as did Peter?

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