Put Out Deeper

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Put Out Deeper

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4)

As much as I love fishing, and as much as I think Jesus would make the best fishing guide ever, I don’t think ‘put out deeper’ is about catching more fish. I believe it is about being a disciple and having what is required to follow Jesus. The symbolism of ‘put out deeper’ tells us that we need to be willing to go places we would not think to go on our own, to leave the shallows, and to be prepared for the unexpected.

When Jesus told Simon Peter and his fishing crew to put out deeper, they had already been fishing all night. I can only imagine that they did not want to go further out and try another spot. They would have seen that as a foolish and worthless venture. The same can happen to us. We may not be willing to listen to Jesus, thinking we know better and are content with doing things our way, unwilling to go in another direction. ‘Put out deeper’ gives us a chance to reflect upon our willingness to follow Jesus’ directions.

Leaving the shallows is scary. Nobody likes to leave their comfort zone. Yet, that is what Jesus calls us to do when he says, “Come follow me.” Playing it safe, being comfortable, and staying near the shore are not part of radical discipleship: trusting in Jesus and allowing him to guide us into deep water is. Lo and behold, that is where the big catch for the disciples was –  and that is where we can find our blessings, too. ‘Put out deeper’ gives us a chance to show our trust in Jesus as we follow him.

Simon Peter and the other disciples could not have imagined that after a bad day of fishing, they would have caught anything by putting out deeper and dropping their nets one more time. They were not prepared for what can happen when people follow Jesus’ commands and put their trust in him. What about us? Are we prepared for the unexpected? We should be. For Scripture tells us “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Are you willing to “put out deeper”?

Photo credit: Brother Xavier Werneth, S.C.

Posted in Reflections

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“Before all, and above all, attention shall be paid to the care of the sick, so that they shall be served as if they were Christ Himself.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict