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“What’s the Catch?” by Amilee Beer, Fiat Ventures

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 This Sunday’s Gospel reading is probably familiar to you.  Simon Peter, James, and John are out fishing with their buddies, hoping to bring in a good haul to the market later.  They have worked hard all night, but by the time Jesus shows up, they still have caught nothing.  Jesus instructs them to go out again and lower their nets.  It’s Simon Peter’s response that I find interesting.

 “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing. But at your command I will lower the nets.”

 We can take this one of two ways.  The first, more noble response, is one of complete trust, even in the midst of doubt.  But the other, seemingly more likely response, is one of frustration and pride. “Dude, we’ve been out here all night trying and we’ve gotten nothing.  Who are you to tell us how to do our job?  You’re not even a fisherman! But yeah SURE we’ll lower the nets…just to prove you wrong.”

 Just like Simon Peter, sometimes Jesus asks things of us that we think are useless, or not worthwhile, or even a bad idea.  We get those nudges from the Holy Spirit, speaking through our conscience or through others.  Go say hi to that girl sitting alone, don’t cheat off your friend’s homework, respond in kindness to your brother, even when he’s being annoying.  We can respond with trust to Jesus, even if we are worried about the potential outcomes of our actions, or we can respond pridefully.  “Dude, I tried that and it didn’t work.  Who are you to tell me what to do?  You don’t know what it’s like to be a teen in today’s world.”

But we can learn an incredible lesson from Simon Peter.  Even though he still doubted, he listened to Jesus anyway.  And what did he get in return?  More fish than they could handle—they had to get other fishermen and more boats to help get their nets out of the water!

Jesus promises this to us, too: to have life to the fullest, to have joy in this life and eternally.  All we have to do is listen to him, respond “yes”, and trust that he has something better in store for us than we even hope for.

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