All of us have experienced God’s call. How loud the call was depended on how deep we allowed it to echo in our heart. Typically the call took the form of involvement in some church ministry. Often without giving it a second thought we brush it away. We say “it just isn’t me” because we never think ourselves qualified, deserving or worthy.
Today’s three readings all echoed God’s call. Reflecting deeper into them they tell us that God wants to heal and restore each of us. Isaiah did not feel qualified, “for I am a man of unclean lips”. St Paul having persecuted the Church of God felt underserving, “I am the least of the apostles”. Yet. Simon Peter expressed this common unworthiness, “Leave me Lord; I am a sinful man”. No one will ever be worthy. So he persistently call each of us. Are we not familiar with these replies?
God’s call is mistakenly interpreted as a call to give up our comfortable life to go into some form of sacrificial suffering. In our salvation history, the Red Sea was parted once to take us out of slavery. The journey has continued from that to lead us on the long road to freedom. God’s call is more of a beckoning to come his way through the maze of life’s many paths including the path of suffering, sign posting the journey that will eventually lead to our heavenly freedom. It is a beckoning call to guide us to stay on the right path.
He beckons us in the ordinariness of everyday life, present at every corner of our weariness. Often we are blindsided by our challenges, unable to see him when we look around us. Tired, exasperated we say, “We worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets”. His daily call is “to put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch”.
Indeed we must first go deep within ourselves. We must not be afraid to confront past mistakes and hurts. He is there present beneath the rubble of all our destroyed hopes and brokenness. Where there is a stone of bitterness, he will help roll it away. Where there is a door of forgiveness, he will help us through it. All these is restorative to qualify us, to make us deserving and worthy. He calls us not into more suffering but to lead us into peace and joy.
When we cast into the deep where he want us to cast, he is showing us where to find the true treasures of our earthly life. When we heed his beckoning call and cast deep we find our true vocation that brings lasting fulfilment. Many of us wander through life and wonder about the meaning of it all. Here is a call to become a fisher of men not to make a tough life tougher but to fulfil it with meaning and direction.
“And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear”.
Listening to the echoes from within, we have all gone fishing.
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time.