Daily Reflection
September 2nd, 1999
 Gerry Stockhausen, S.J.
College of Business Administration
Colossians 1:9-14
Psalms 98:2-6
Luke 5:1-11
“Put down your nets for a catch.”
“Master, we have been hard at it all night and have caught nothing.”
“Try the other side of the boat.”

Did anybody ever tell the carpenter that the two sides of a boat are not very far apart?  If you can’t get fish on one side you won’t get them on the other side either.  For all this carpenter knows about fishing, if he made a good catch he would probably make an “X” on the bottom of the boat so he would be know just where that spot was!

Sometimes—often?—it seems Jesus doesn’t know much about catching people either.  Just look at some of the people he invites to do the fishing!  If Jesus wanted it done well, he certainly wouldn’t ask me.  He would find someone better—more loving, more prayerful, more articulate, less selfish, less proud, less attached to a comfortable life, less sinful—certainly someone holier than I am.  “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinner.”

Try saying that and it just goes in one ear of Jesus and out the other.  Jesus is not after Superman or Wonder Woman.  He is after you and me.  My sinfulness does not scare him off or make me untouchable.  In fact, my very sinfulness, my lack of love, my pitiful prayer life—in other words, my humanity—allows me to be compassionate.  When I am in touch with my own weakness, I tend to be less judgmental about the weakness of others, more welcoming of others in their weakness, and so more able to catch them for Jesus.

And when I know my own sin, I can more easily recognize that any success I have in catching others for Christ is not because I am so terrific, but because Jesus has done a terrific job of working in me and through me.

Give thanks to the Lord with joyful song; let all the earth sing praise.

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