Peter’s struggle

5th Sunday Ordinary Time Reflection by Fr Arnold Biago SVD

After fishing the whole night catching nothing, Jesus commanded Peter, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Peter, an experienced fisherman certainly struggled with this word of Jesus. He found it ridiculous. But the one in front of him is no ordinary person. He heard so much about him. So with great internal struggle he complied and put his trust in the authority of Jesus’ word saying, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”

There are often internal struggles in life, between what or how one sees realities and that of others. When I went to Congo as a young missionary, I struggled to learn two languages at time but completely trust the words of early missionaries who spoke from their experience that I will manage to learn in due time. And I did learn the languages.

Others call it pessimism, self-doubt, or negative thoughts, but it is a reality that many like Peter experienced. Like Peter, for me, it is an experience of self-awareness, self-acceptance, acknowledgement of weakness that allows the transforming power of God’s grace. In fact, Peter exclaimed, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

Certainly, only when a person recognises his / her weakness that through the grace of God the person can start transforming it into strength.

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