(Luke 5:1-11) When we really stop to think about it, we live much of life in the shallows. We fill our time with shallow endeavors, engage in mostly superficial conversations, and in the name of tolerance, keep our friendships and acquaintances firmly on the shore, where it’s safe. We steer clear of controversial topics or messy encounters in hopes of keeping our lives neat and uncomplicated. This situation is most pronounced in matters of faith, avoiding such discussions altogether so as to keep that part of our lives separate, almost hidden. We may not even be aware that we are doing these things. Is it that we simply get swept up in the busyness of our lives, or that we don’t want to risk being different or bother with the effort that it takes to go deeper?
In this week’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to leave the safety of the shore, to leave our comfort zone and put ourselves out there. The world offers us a shallow existence, but Christ wants to offer us so much more – lives full of meaning and purpose. He doesn’t ask us to leave our jobs and families, only those things that hold us back – our doubts, fears and insecurities. He challenges us to abandon the old self and the old ways of doing things that are futile, in return for a life of abundance with Him.
We need only allow Jesus into the boat and trust that He knows what He’s doing! Using the gifts with which He has endowed us, our Lord will show us how to reach out in compassion to those around us, thus also experiencing the great depth of His love. Though we may feel unfit for the task of discipleship, Christ equips us every time we celebrate Mass: we are taught through the Scriptures, fed with the Eucharist, and – only then! – we are sent out to spread God’s love to the world. With Jesus beside us, we have nothing to fear and everything to gain.
“Now may the God of peace…equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight…” (Hebrews 13: 20-21.)