“but the victory is Yahweh’s”

(Proverbs 21.31)

A boat.
He would go fishing with it.
He would also preach on it at times.
We know that once he approached it walking on the sea.
He also slept in it sometimes…
even when the waves and the wind were strong.
Amazing this Jesus – He is able to rest even on a rocking boat!

Once this Jesus came in my boat
and in yours also.
He told us to pull out into the deep.
Leave our secure and hard ground
And live an adventure with him on the surging seas.

He also told us to lay out our nets.
And perhaps we,
tired and discouraged like Peter,
told him dryly that we worked hard all night long
and caught nothing.
Worked breathlessly and had pitiable results.
Prayed, prayed, prayed, and we did not get what we desired.
We worked a lot, hoped a lot but to no avail.

But Peter decided to go for it:
“if you say so, I will throw out the nets!”
He risk being ridiculed once more –
You need to be ready for this of you are following the Master!
His colleagues, the other fishermen of the lake of Gennesaret
were ready to pull his leg:
“Can’t he see that it is stupid to obey a carpenter:
his expertise is in wood not in fish!”
But Peter took a chance.

And because he obeyed
- only an intelligent person knows how to obey -
Jesus did not let him down.
He filled his boat to overflowing with fish:
“they netted such a huge number of fish that…”

When Peter relied on himself, he caught nothing.
When he relied on the Master he had more than enough.

Realizing what was happening –
that this Jesus was so great
and he was so weak -
he implored the Master to leave him.
He felt so dirty
He felt so stained;
He wanted to disappear.
But Jesus – how can you not love him! –
right at that moment,
when Peter was most vulnerable…
He entrusted him with the mission of catching people.

This is my Jesus!
When he sees me downtrodden
He heals me by trusting me even more!
And He tells me what He told Peter:
“do not be afraid!”
When God appears he always says the same word:
“do not be afraid!”
When the angel appeared to Zechariah, he told him:
“Zechariah, do not be afraid, for your prayer has been heard…”
When the angel appeared to Mary, he said to her:
“Mary, do not be afraid, you have won God’s favor…”
When the angel appeared to Joseph, he told him:
“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid…”
When the angel appeared to the shepherds, he told them:
“Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy…”

When faith knocks… at the door,
fear leaves!

We do not fear not because we do not realize that evil exists,
not because problems are not there anymore
not because we are strong.
But… on the contrary precisely because evil is great
and because we are weak
we need to learn to rely on His powerful presence
and trust on His assistance

After all, only He is able to catch fish even where there are no fish!

No disaster can overtake you
no plague come near your tent;
He has given his angels orders about you,
to guard you wherever you go.
They will carry you in their arms
in case you trip over a stone.
Since he clings to me I rescue him,
I raise him high, since he acknowledges my name.
He calls to me and I answer him:
In distress I am at his side,
I rescue him and bring him honor
(Psalm 91, 10-12, 14-15)

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.