Daily Reflection
September 7th, 2006

Rev. Rich Gabuzda

Institute for Priestly Formation
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1 Corinthians 3:18-23
Psalm 24:1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6
Luke 5:1-11

"Put Out into Deep Water"

"Deep water." What images come to mind when we hear the phrase? Perhaps we have memories of being warned about not going to the deep end of the swimming pool when we were too young. Perhaps we have memories of finally being able to go to the deep end of the pool when we grew up a bit. The thought of being in deep water can bring fear to some hearts; to others it may indicate freedom.

On another level "deep water" can represent for us a desired overcoming of superficiality. "Still waters run deep," says a saying. We mean it, of course, as a compliment. Depth in a person is a very good thing. We sense it is a place we'd like to find more often. But how to find it?

In Luke's gospel Jesus asks Simon Peter to "Put out into deep water." Although Peter has been working hard all night with no success, he accedes to Jesus' request and is rewarded with an enormous catch of fish. The difference between failure and success has nothing to do with time of day, more work, insights gained about good fishing spots. Rather the difference between success and failure has everything to do with following the lead of Jesus. Jesus makes all the difference.

In the hunger for greater meaning, a greater depth in lives which can seem surrounded by much superficiality, human beings go searching in lots of places. Perhaps a new relationship will help, or a new job, or a new city to live in. The gospel points us in another direction. Jesus leads us to deep waters. He is the Way. If only we will listen to him and follow.

Jesus provides the deep water for which we long. The gospel asks if we are "working too hard" at creating depth for ourselves. Perhaps we need to listen better and follow Jesus' gentle instructions about where to look.

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