Go into deep water…
Imagine the experience of a day of unproductive work after you put all of your energy and “know how” technics. Most of this comes the day we are even more excited to fulfill some of our high expectations. But when we take a look at the sunset we find out that nothing major was realized and our expectations were not fulfilled. Then, we experience fatigue, hopelessness, and even the desire to drop the ball and do something else. Imagine the situation of the apostles who worked tirelessly the entire night, facing the waves of the sea, the cold of a night in the water and the discouragement that comes at the end of unsuccessful efforts! This is the very same experience the apostles are going through. As well experienced and professional fishermen, they could not understand spending such an unproductive fishing night. Suddenly comes an unknown person, supposedly with no fishing experience, asking them to cast the net in opposite direction. Then comes the surprise.
Let us now look at the experience of discipleship and the missionary activity, which we call evangelization. The Lord has told Peter and other disciples that he would make of them fishers of men. Change in the working activity and purpose comes also with change of strategies. Like the apostles in their fishing experience, we want to stick with our own strategies that make us feel comfortable. We want to make things our own ways; and the result is simple, unsuccessful or less productive work. In today’s gospel reading the Risen Lord calls us to change our pastoral and missionary strategies, moving from unsuccessful and unproductive old ones to the new ones that He teaches us: looking towards another direction to be effective and efficient.
The call to discipleship requires renewal of both minds and strategies. The disciples adapted very quickly to the Lord’s instructions and they caught what they could not on their own in spite of being professional fishermen. Likewise, we will be productive in the Lord’s vineyard only if we let him lead us through the stormy weather and muddy waters of the new evangelization. We are called to cast the net to the opposite direction, the very one He the first and true fisherman points to us, for us to be efficient in the work of missionary discipleship. We are called to go into deep water and cast the net. This means for us that we have to seriously and deeply dig into the challenges of our parish life and evangelization strategies, our own understanding of how to evangelize in order to engage in renewal process. Like for the apostles, our missionary discipleship work will be successful and fruitful if we realize the two following requirements: to listen to the Lord, and to engage in the new direction, the opposite direction he points to us.
With congratulations to our class of 2019 first communion students who received their first communion this weekend, let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family. May we all get ready to go into deep water, and cast the net to the direction the Lord is pointing to us!