The Promise is to You

When we Hesitate to go Into the Deep

Peter did it, too. Jesus told him in Lk 5:1-11 to “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Peter doubted if anything would happen. He replied, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing.”

Today we phrase it: “Been there, done that.”

And many times we have “done it.” Just as Peter was a trained fisherman and had been out all night working hard, we, too, generally work hard at our jobs and our crafts, doing the best we can.

Fishing boatSometimes—hopefully often!—we see our efforts bear fruit. Still, there are times when we come home with our nets empty.

In those times, we take comfort in the knowledge that we’ve tried our best. We take a break, re-evaluate, or simply wait for a better time.

That was Peter’s plan. Since the best fishing was at night and he would’ve been tired from being out the night before, he wanted to take a break and wait till the fish would come back. Fishing during the day was typically not worth it.

What it came down to was, not only did Peter think he knew fishing, he thought he knew Jesus.

He had seen Jesus teaching in the synagogue. Jesus had even healed his mother-in-law. And at that moment the crowd was pressing in on Jesus such that He had climbed into Peter’s boat to teach from the edge of the lake.

It’s easy to think, “Come on, Peter. This is GOD. Obey Him!”

Yet how often do we have the same hesitation when we’re called to go out for the hundredth time…or to do something new? We’ve heard Jesus’ teachings, supplemented by 2000 years of witnesses to their truth. We’ve all heard about miracles, and many of us have witnessed miraculous healings. We even watch Jesus miraculously become present in the Blessed Sacrament at every Mass.

“Maybe I’m not hearing Him right.” Ok, then discern it appropriately.

“I don’t know what to do.” Jesus knows. He will lead you.

“What if nothing happens?” Jesus is faithful. He will not tell you to do something and then leave you hanging. His words always bring life, bearing good fruit. Even if you do not see the fruit immediately, trust that He is working in all things for the good of those who love Him (Rom 8:28).

Usually our hesitation comes down to fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of abandonment. Fear of what others will say or do. Fear of awkwardness. Fear of things going wrong. None of this fear is of God.

By the power of the Holy Spirit given to us in Baptism and Confirmation, we need to take authority over our fear. Pray: “In the name of Jesus Christ I bind this fear and cast it to the feet of Jesus to be dealt with as He pleases.”

For the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses. We destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ, and we are ready to punish every disobedience, once your obedience is complete. (2 Cor 10:4-6)

Then invite the Holy Spirit into that place that fear once held. “Come, Holy Spirit! Fill me with Your perfect love. Increase my faith and help me to obey. Jesus, I trust in You!”

When Peter chose to obey, “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” (Lk 5:6-7).

Greatly humbled, Peter got down on his knees before Jesus. We must do this, too.

Jesus will raise us up, saying “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”

Normally I would end the post here. But I need to add one more thing:

This call to “Go!” is urgent. We see the desperate need in the world around us for God. He IS doing something about it – He is sending each of us Christians, as members of Christ’s Body, to bring His light into the darkness. For more, see “Now is the Time: Proclaim God’s Love”.

Brooklyn Museum - The Second Miraculous Draught of Fishes (La seconde pêche miraculeuse) - James Tissot.jpg

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