Thursday of the Twenty-SecondWeek in Ordinary Time

Putting out to sea 

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 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. They signalled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man”.  Lk 5,1-8

In Peter’s call after the miraculous catch, we recognize all the signs of our own call and the beginning of our own journey of faith. The encounter with the Lord was to us a unique, unexpected, surprising and radical event. The journey was dark at first, different from anything we knew and seemed obvious to us. Then, with time passing by, reality has slowly transfigured and we have learned to read the events of our life in a new way. In our case, Lord, we have not accepted a preformed doctrine intellectually, neither we have imitated your inimitable way of life. We have followed you, as a tourist follows his local guide who, in the jungle, opens the way with a machete. Now that we are old and still have some talents to be used, please hear our prayer:

Lord, when, forty years ago, you passed

and  saw a boat on the shore:                                                            it was OURS.

The two tired and discouraged fishermen,

who lifted the nets without fish:                                                       they were US.

When, from the boat,  you taught the crowds,

there in order to listen to you:                                                           WE were there.

The two fishermen to whom you told to go

fishing in deep water:                                                                       they were US.

The two boats which returned to the shore

full of fish,                                                                                        they were OURS

The two fishermen unworthy of such providence,

praying at your feet,                                                                         they are again US.

Now that our children have left

to fish on their own and our boat                                                      still GOOD,

ask us, Lord, to put out to sea

and return once again                                                                        to FISH.

We are no longer young, but we are expert,

we can still catch fish,                                                                      if YOU WANT.

We love the sea and the wind filling the sails,

and we are not tired of fishing,                                                       LORD!

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