I just finished glancing through a beautiful new hardcover book recently published by Franciscan Media called THE HOLY LAND: AN ARMCHAIR PILGRIMAGE, by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ. This beautiful book lets you travel on virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Land from the comfort of your own home.
In one of the chapters devoted to the Sea of Galilee, I came across an interesting analogy comparing Simon Peter’s experience to our own sinfulness.
After Jesus had preached to the crowds gathered on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, he asked Simon Peter to drop the fishing nets into the water to catch some fish. After fishing all night with no results, a reluctant yet dutiful Peter agreed to follow Jesus’ command.
To Peter’s astonishment, so numerous were the fish that not only his boat, but other surrounding fishing boats were filled to the risk of sinking. Peter then becomes remorseful for his doubtfulness and says to Jesus, “Leave me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.” Jesus responded by saying, “Fear not. From now on you will be catching men.”
Many of us cannot distinguish navy blue, black, or dark brown socks inside our room. Only when we get into the sunlight do we see the color distinctions clearly. Also, when we sinners are among ourselves, we do not notice our faults; but in the sunlight of God’s presence, we notice them far more clearly. This is Simon Peter’s experience.
Similarly, the closer we get to God, the more His light shines upon us, and the more aware we become of our sinful ways. Starting with this very moment, may we all come out of the shadows of sin and into the light of purity. And may we cast out our nets and lead others to do the same.
Photo by Vasily Polenov [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons