Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken;and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
As an engineering student, three courses in chemistry and one in fluid mechanics seemed a good class schedule. Soon, though, I was failing two courses. Problems surfaced faster than I could handle. Anxiety was consuming my resilience.
In my time of desperation, Jesus came to the rescue, forging a deeper prayer relationship with me and re-centering my life path. As terrible as it was to struggle, my life opened to Jesus in a new way. In hindsight, one could argue for caution; yet, when I could not control the storm, I begged God to act in me in a new way.
Ignatius encouraged retreatants to be generous in offering themselves as disciples of Jesus, learning from the lives of the saints. What dream thrills me to strike out in a new way, to brave the deep water? Which saint is my hero?
Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes,
to discern and test the spirits that help me to read the signs of the time,
to relish the things that are yours,
and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius.
—Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ
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