Put Out into the Deep Water

Reading      Luke 5: 1-11


                                       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…




This Gospel account speaks to me at many levels of experience. Just three years ago while I was on pilgrimage through the Holy land, we spent three days at a kibbutz along this Sea of Galilee. One evening after spending hours on my porch eating a little picnic supper and resting in solitary contemplation gazing out upon the water my heart seemed to sink into a deep celebration of what it has meant to me to be in discipleship of this Jesus of Nazareth throughout these many decades. I thought of these strong and able-bodied fishermen, Simon and Andrew, James and John who first heard their ‘call to leave everything and follow Jesus’ along these very shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Like them, we too, in our young adult lives, were invited into discipleship with a great gentleness and ease. We were simply going about the daily business of our lives. These fishermen with their boats and nets and cleaning up are approached by Jesus who wants to use their boats for teaching the crowds –such a simple, uncomplicated, genuine gesture of offering assistance. The early period of their discipleship and ours is marked by hours of listening to the Master’s teaching, grappling with the questions, mulling over the parable stories of the Kingdom of God, and then comes the maturing phase. We intuitively seem to know that we must abandon in faith to the deeper mystery, surrender into the not-knowing, and finally rest in quiet peace out upon the deep waters. It is such a joy to be invited by Jesus to “put out into the deep water.”


One early morning, just after sunrise, we pilgrims set off from shore by replica boat to go across to the other side to the Mount of the Beatitudes. The hour sea-voyage was a wonderful contemplation of earth and sea and sky and ‘miracles’ about to happen when we ‘let down our nets for a catch’. Out in the middle of the sea with the waves rising and falling and the sparkling clear waters lapping against the boat, it seemed to me like we all fell into a restful silence. I for one was pondering those moments when I knew …I could go no further by myself… when all my efforts to succeed by trying harder where failing… when my ego self was powerless to break through the barriers of limit-situations I found myself struggling with … And like Peter, I’m sure I informed Jesus that I had worked all night and was not able to get a catch, not able to find a solution to the problem! And then those firm and clear words of command: “Let down your nets for a catch.”



And that obedience to the voice of God within me was the HUGE turning point. Yes, deep out into the waters now, it was God taking the lead, guiding my life’s direction, offering me the way of solace. His words then and now are for all of us the saving grace that can offer us the miracle of an abundant life. Yes, when we put down our nets, give up our control of the situation, surrender our place and our timing, we allow the living GOD to flow into our lives - our nets.  In that moment we are filled with a miraculous restoration of love and peace. Where there had been frustration and unrest, now our hearts are filled with calm and acceptance.



There is an awakening taking place as we realize our life’s work will be ‘catching people’ and drawing them out into the deep waters of this Mystery and there allowing God to touch their souls with intimate union- overflowing into joy and zeal for the kingdom. There will come a time for an abundance of faithful companions - so much so, that we will have to call upon each other to work together, to build together, to create community and church together. It is Jesus who says: “Do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching people.” 



Carrying Grace      I will let down my nets.


#4 stjoseph 2010-02-09 05:41
A great depth of Breaking God's Word in understanding God's Ways as we Let God to enter our Lives.
Infact it is a mutual invitation both from we human beings To our Living God and God inviting us to have partnership with Him.
Sr Agnes Vadasherry ( India )
#3 Betty Mellon 2010-02-08 03:59
Upon reflection, I am astonished with the words of "Yes, when we put down our nets, give up our control of the situation,surre nder...we allow the living God to flow into our lives - our nets." For several days I grappled with a pastoral situation in which I was in a hurry to receive a response. Finally after much agitation I came to prayer and quietly a way would unfold. Somehow then I realized that no longer a response was necessary in the situation. Calmness came to me. So the words, "...put down our nets, give up our control..." touches me profoundly as I discover once again that the living God flows in our lives and our nets. Peace walks with me.
#2 arletteh 2010-02-06 15:15
"Put out into the deep!"What comfort those words, seeing they come from Jesus, are to me now. I have a decision to make-will I follow into the deep?Until I follow God's purpose for me, my shadow side plays havoc with me.Yes, Jesus, I will follow!"Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom.Lead Thou me on" P. S . My husband says the best fish is caught in deep waters! So grateful, emmanuella.
#1 Mark Dickinson 2010-02-06 01:04
Beautiful, Rosemary! As I reflect upon your words, I can picture the nets rising from the waters, a gathering-up from the sea into the boats and onto the land. God is our Sea .. putting forth, providing, sustaining, nurturing .. and the net is Jesus, drawing from the True Water the life, love and compassion that dwells within the Sea and feeds, and enhances, all humanity, and all nature. As we follow Jesus and gather Life for ourselves from the Sea ... we are reminded to be nets of our own, gathering and catching the love of God, feeding the world with new truth, new wisdom, and new life.

You must LOGIN to add a comment.