It was almost dusk. Jesus concluded his teachings to the crowd and then turned and sat down. He looked intently at them. Then directly at Simon,
$$$$$“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
$$$$$Simon looked at each crew member and then back on Jesus. He cocked an eyebrow. That was the extent of his resistance.
$$$$$“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”
$$$$$He turned towards the water as the rest of the crew took position. They slowly lowered the net and let it sit on the bottom.
$$$$$Simon sighed deeply. He was weary. His back hurt and his pride even more. He hadn’t caught very much this season and he was beginning to doubt his ability. Maybe he wasn’t cut out to be a fisherman. The winds picked up slightly the deeper they went. White foam churned on top small waves that collided with the vessel. A tenuous place to be — the uncertainty drew even more heavily on the stress marks time carved on his face.
$$$$$Simon whistled to the crew as a sign to start hauling the net in. Using very little force he was almost thrown in the water as the net became taught and resisted his action.
$$$$$“PULL!” He screamed to his companions, “PULL!”
$$$$$The water churned and thrashed and tossed as fish on top of fish were brought to the surface.
$$$$$“Simon, we can’t. The nets are beginning to tear!”
$$$$$He looked over. Sure enough his fellow fisherman had his knees locked against the inside of the boat. If the nets pull back anymore he will surely fall in, the boat would capsize and send them headlong into the abyss. Others on the boat signaled their partners who came to help them. They hoisted the nets in the two boats, which now started to level and calm down albeit lower in the water. Simon looked over at Jesus who sat there still staring intently at him. Simon’s knees began to shake and he fell upon them,
$$$$$“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” He covered his face, ashamed and afraid of this man.
$$$$$Jesus revealed a great big smile and raised his hand part way towards Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
$$$$$Simon sat up and looked at Jesus, whose eyes were peaceful and certain. Simon surveyed the jumping convalescing fish that surrounded them. If this man is capable of such a great catch as this, surely more is in store. He nodded reassuringly. He stood up slowly and motioned his partners and they brought the boats back to shore.
$$$$$When they arrived, the crowd that had been there before they departed were also amazed at the size of the catch. Surely these men would not have to work another day in their lives.
$$$$$Simon and his partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee, jumped out of the boat. They gave direction to their apprentices and asked those in the crowd to help sort the catch.
$$$$$It was evening. The moon lit a path from the shore back to town. Simon spoke to Jesus,
$$$$$“We can stay the night at my families house.”
$$$$$They left everything and followed him.
(cf St. Luke 5:1-11)
Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. If we trust to put out into the deep waters of prayer, contemplation, and most importantly trust in what he tells us, certainly we will have the same courage as Peter to do as he says and then follow him even if we know not what will happen.