Trusting Jesus with Empty Nets

By Fr. Mike Boutin

After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets." When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing.  (from Luke 5:1-11)

Listen to Rhonda Vincent singing "Fishers of Men."

A mother prays: "Lord, I've been putting out into the deep for a while now. Each day, I show my kids I love them. I work all day, I come home and make supper... My husband's been gone for a few years now, Lord, so I'm doing it alone.  And all I get from my kids is backtalk..."

A husband prays: "Lord, I've been putting out into the deep for years.  I work two jobs, I pray every day, I'm a good father and husband, but I just wonder if you can really hear me...or if I'm just wasting my time."

An old woman prays: "Lord, you know I've been putting out into the deep for more than 80 years. It's a long time to be faithful... I'm tired, and lonely, and just want to go be back with my Freddy. I miss him so much since he died... The house is empty and quiet and I'm tired, Lord..."

I pray:  "Lord, for eighteen years I've been putting out into the deep as a priest - celebrating Mass, baptizing screaming babies, burying the dead and consoling their survivors, and marrying the clueless... And just sometimes, I look around the world and wonder: What for? Does it make a difference?"

Peter had been at it all night long. He knew this lake, and he was tired and just wanted to go to bed. There were no fish out there to be caught. Not today anyway. Until the Lord told him to trust...put the net out just one more time.

Christ says to us: "Trust me. Try again. Just one more time.  Stop trying to do it alone. Live with me."

Jesus Christ can turn our lives around. He can stop us from sinking, from dragging in empty nets, from always trying to do it alone.

Christ has another way.  But we have to trust him. We have to let go of our own nets, and our own ways, and our own desires and, instead, follow him...

Christ's way is a way of service... of self emptying... of love.

"Come follow me... I will make your nets full."

Now pray....


Father Mike Boutin is the co-pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Walpole, MA, and travels widely, leading pilgrimages throughout the world to various Catholic religious sites. He is a frequent speaker on liturgy, music, spirituality, and pastoral ministry. 

2/1/2010 5:00:00 AM
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