Out into the Deep

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10 February 2019. Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflection (Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco)

More than a decade ago, since I was free during the summer (that’s the beauty of being a teacher- when the students are on vacation, the teacher also is on vacation!). I decided to have a weekly visit to four barangay chapels in our parish to teach the children catechism and to pray the rosary with them. I coordinated with my parish priest and the pastoral leaders of the barangay. They agreed and organized the children who would be instructed during my visitations.

I could say that I did not only enjoy my summer that year but also made it meaningful and fruitful. Some years have passed and I was surprised one day, when the parish youth ministry conducted an event to see that some of the little children whom I had taught during that summer break remained active in their barangay chapels. That brought me to a realization that those simple visits I did, teaching and praying – most of the time just being with them, could ignite their faith and would one day make them active in the Church.

After all these reminisces I remember that in the Gospel, Jesus told His apostles who were on the boat to “Put out into the deep….” These words are powerful for they are also meaningful. Jesus knew that the catch would be few in shallow waters. So He told them to venture in the deep water for a plentiful catch.

I find it evocative since if I had spent my vacation staying the whole summer in our house and resting, a “bountiful catch” would be impossible. But since I went out of my comfort zone and convenience to immerse into the “deep” (the apostolate area), I was rewarded by God with many little souls to lead to Him. This realization challenges me to always go out and plunge into the deep.

The Gospel Today
Luke 5:1-11

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 signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats 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.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

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