This is a beautiful Gospel scene. There is a lot to unpack, a lot upon which to reflect. One thing immediately comes to my mind is inconvenience. Jesus does not mind inconveniencing people.
First, the crowd. The crowd is "pressing in on Jesus." They obviously want to be close to Jesus—to hear him more clearly and perhaps even touch him. Jesus leaves the throng and continues his lessons from a boat in the lake. 'Where are you going, Lord? Don't leave us!'
Second, the fishermen. They had just finished their long day of labor. They had secured their boats, were washing their nets, and ready to go home for the day. They must have thought, when Jesus chose their two boats, "Oh, you've got to be kidding me!" The day's not over yet, fisherman. They drag back the clean nets, unhinge the boat, and set off into the lake, as if it was morning already for the next day of work.
Third, the fishermen, part 2. Not only are the workers back out on the lake when they thought they were finished for the day, they are now instructed to throw the nets back in to resume their fishing. Not only was this laborious, it was emotionally draining. They were already demoralized, having caught nothing for the day. Being told to try fishing again must have been hard to swallow. It's like a father insisting to his boy to continue hitting the golf ball when he just can't get it right. 'Can't we just try again another day?' No!
Fourth, the fishermen, part 3. Okay, so Christ performs the miracle and allows them to catch some fish, when they hadn't caught anything all day. This redeemed the earlier inconveniences. But the amount of fish is excessive. Some fish would have been just fine. This are so many fish that the nets tear, they have to call over another boat for assistance, inconveniencing that boat, and then, to top it all off, the two boats almost sink!
Fifth, Saint Peter. Simon is told by Jesus at the very end that from now on he will be "catching man." Peter must have thought, 'wasn't this experience enough, Jesus? Must I be left now with this enigmatic statement?' Peter's future was thrown upside-down.
Yes, our Lord doesn't mind inconveniencing us. When he does, we should be grateful, for we usually are the beneficiaries.
Many of you have already received a letter from the Cardinal requesting your participation in the Archdiocese Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA). The funds raised from this campaign go to support the ministries and programs of the Archdiocese. Last year, for the 2018 ACA, St. Juliana was assessed a goal of $53,018. We raised $69,603. That's $16,508 we made for the parish! Tremendous. Thank you. We put that money to good use—facility improvements, school scholarships, and capital projects. This year, our goal is $54,775. Hopefully we can once again surpass our goal.
We'll be making a little announcement about the tax credit scholarship opportunity for our school. See inside the bulletin for more details. There have been 27 students apply for this scholarship, 13 of whom would be new to St. Juliana. Basically, if the tax payer makes this contribution, and we receive enough contributions, we could gain potentially 13 more students for our school--students who want to come to our school but cannot because of financial restrictions. Thank you for considering this.
Thank you again to all who helped this Saturday with the Mother's Club Big Night Out. Tomorrow, Monday, February 11th, is the Men's Club chili cook-off. Have a great week!
Yours in Christ,