- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

September 7, 2017

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

22nd Thursday in Ordinary Time
Colossians 1: 9 – 14; Ps 98; Luke 5: 1 – 11

Jesus tells Peter, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Primarily and clearly it is about a catch of fish but the word also describes well a movement that happens throughout this Gospel.

There is the crowd pressing in on Jesus to listen to His word. Obviously they are heartened, consoled by His word and so with an intensity, a desire to be near Him to catch His every word, the Word of Life, they press upon Him.

Clearly, Jesus is taken with the crowd; He is at their service. So that they can see but more so catch His message, He presides from Peter’s boat. Could it not be said that Jesus was netted by them? With joy He allowed Himself to be their ‘catch.’

Then, there is Peter the fisherman and his companions who follow the instructions of a carpenter and are in amazement at their catch of a great number of fish. Peter, so deeply touched by this – actually caught up by Jesus’ power – sees his own unworthiness – can only request , “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!

Jesus response is immediate – there is to be no departure – the fishing and catching will now be of the Kingdom – this is Peter’s call and his response is immediate. He left all and followed Jesus as did his companions.

The reality of being God’s catch, of being in His net, His kingdom is ours. By Baptism we are in the Body of Christ the Church; our identity, each one of us, is most sacred – we belong to God. It is our privilege, our call, too, to follow Christ because as someone has written, “We are seized, caught by the power of a Great Affection.”

The first reading from Paul’s Letter to the Colossians is all about living as one “seized, caught by the power of a Great Affection.”