Setbacks


Pope Francis   10.02.19      Angelus, St Peter's Square       Luke 5: 1-11
Pope Francis 10.02.19 Angelus, St Peter's Square

The days Gospel tells how Jesus surprised Simon by climbing in his boat, and going out a little ways from the shore to teach the people. Then Jesus made another surprising move by asking Simon to put out into the deep and lower his nets for a catch.

Simon (to whom Jesus would later give the name Peter) seems at first to offer an objection; but inspired by the presence of Jesus, and illuminated by His word, Simon does as he is asked. It is the response of faith, the response that that we too are called to give; and the attitude of openness that the Lord asks of all His disciples, especially insofar as they have duties of responsibility in the Church.

It is Simon’s trusting obedience that prompts the miraculous catch of fish. When we come with generosity to His service, Jesus accomplishes great things in us.

This is how Jesus deals with each of us: He asks us to welcome Him into the boat of our life, to begin again with Him and set out on a new sea, that turns out to be full of
surprises. Jesus’ invitation gives new meaning to our existence. If we, like Peter, are sometimes surprised or hesitant at this call, Jesus encourages us. If we trust in Him God will free us from our sin, and open us up to new horizons, to collaborate in his mission.

The greatest miracle accomplished by Jesus for Simon and the other disappointed and tired fishermen, is not so much the nets filled with fish, but to have helped them to not fall victim to
disappointment and discouragement in the face of setbacks. He opened the way for them to become heralds and witnesses of His word and of the Kingdom of God.