Sunday, February 7, 2010

Not Quittin' Time Just Yet

We heard it today at Mass. The priest or deacon read from the Gospel of Luke:

Jesus got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ ‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.
When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus . . .

I was thinking today, as I listened to this reading, and what I realized is this. Simon Peter must have thought the night of fishing was over. Done. Terminado. Tomorrow is another day.

Maybe he watched with fascination as the Teacher climbed into his boat. Maybe he listened patiently - perhaps even with a bit of curiosity - to the message.

But when the Lord said, Simon, head out to the deep waters and drop those nets again, Simon Peter had to be thinking, How about you stick with teaching and I'll stick with fishing.

But he just said, Master, we already did that. The night is over. It's quittin' time.

Two days ago, I was thinking about last year's Lenten petition - and how it looks like it might be over. The time for answered prayer is just about done. And no answer. Not a glimmer of an answer. Nada. Nothing. Cero. Zip.

It feels like I prayed all night long.

It feels like now, all I'm doing, is listening to unlikely words of hope. My soul sort of feels like saying, Lord, that all sounds nice, and thanks for those good words, but maybe I should move on to other petitions this Lent. Put the night behind me. On to something else.

Put out into the deep.

Drop the nets again.

Let's do it one more time.


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