It’s impressive how the Gospel speaks to each one of us. A person could read the same passage several times without it saying anything to him, until suddenly one day, his understanding is opened and he understands, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, what the Lord wants to communicate to him.
This happened to me with the Gospel of St. Luke about the vocation of the first four disciples (Luke 5:1-11). Remembering that each person has a particular call or vocation, it’s magnificent that one text can say so much.
“Put out into the deep” (Luke 5:4) is like a synonym for “Trust in me.” Many times we only see things with our own point of view and try to get a hold of what we desire by our own means and according to our own measures. “I hope that...,” “I would like such and such a job...,” “I would like a boyfriend that were such and such...”
So frequently we are so fixed on what we want and do not want that nothing can change our minds— not even falling face-down into reality and our frustrated expectations. You discover that you’re exhausted, not knowing where to go, tired of searching for something that never arrives. And then, all of a sudden, by the grace of God, your eyes open and you discover that all you had to do was surrender to his Word.
“Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5). Peter and his companions were expert fishermen and knew that the best time to fish was at night. They had years of experience. Along comes Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth, to tell them how they have to do their work. Nonetheless, he obeys.
Many times we’re like Peter: we don’t get how the Lord could tell us how we have to do things that we’ve spent so much time fighting and building up expectations for. We think, “What is He going to tell us that we haven’t already tried?” He’ll probably tell us to let ourselves be made anew, to stop trying to be in control as if He didn’t exist, to take Him into account because He gave his life for us.
Then we, like Peter, put out into the deep, we leave ourselves in his hands, trust in his Word, and go back to shore with our nets full. So full that we cannot even believe it for a moment, because we’ve received much more than what we’ve hoped for. “He was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken” (Luke 5:9). One is left amazed because what you receive when you are docile to His voice cannot be compared to what you’ve spent so much time searching for. What you’ve hoped for and desired is not even the beginning of what He will grant you in the end.
And the best part is that all this happens here. One cannot even imagine what we will receive in eternal life.
- By Marta Troyano