So often today’s Gospel is read symbolically so that the tearing nets mean one thing and the great number of fish mean something else. The boat’s near sinking is sometimes interpreted symbolically too. But it can be more fruitful simply to read Luke’s story on its own terms, without fishing for meaning so to speak.
Jesus provides more than enough. There is bounty with Jesus who surpasses every expectation. When experience teaches Simon that there is hope, or no use in trying, Jesus encourages him nonetheless and provides excess. This dramatic scene captures something of the initial excitement, humility, and genuineness that often accompanies the early stages of true discipleship. It is then that we die to our own preconceived notions and our own experience, and open ourselves up to the munificence of the divine. That is when our cup overflows with the good things God wants to provide. In the face of such generosity, we can only be humble. Simon knows he did not earn this miraculous catch, but it was a free gift. May we, too, die to our own self-importance and grandiosity and recognize that the good things we have are a gift of God. Living Liturgy 2019©
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