DUC IN ALTUM

Thursday, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time 

            We make all sort of important decisions (and with great implications) – be it in our personal life, family or friendship, be it concerning finances, livelihood or career, be it of short-range or long-range plans. They are all important. But what is the most important decision you will ever have to make in your life? The most important decision you will ever have to make is this: Will you ever cooperate with Jesus once he decides to get into your life?

            Simon Peter, in today’s gospel, makes the most important decision in his life: to take the road of cooperating with Jesus. Listen to what Simon says: “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” With that Simon’s transformation into a great apostle begins.

            Peter has been working or operating in the ‘shallows’. Take note of the symbolism of that: It refers to how Peter is working only on the level of his own abilities and efforts. Jesus tells him, “Put out into deep water.” “Go into the depths.” The Lord is telling him to go into the realm of the divine – the place of grace and of the spiritual. And this is also what the Lord Jesus is telling us… “Duc in altum.” That is the Latin for “Go into the deep.”

            But what is exciting about going into the deep? Is it not scary? Scary, yes! Exciting? Well, definitely not the kind of excitement the world offers. In fact, the world offers us all kinds of ‘excitement’ to make us remain “in the shallows.” The world offers so much excitement to prevent us from going into the deep. Sometimes, if not oftentimes, we just go with it. And that is why we remain in the shallows – stuck on our own plans and ambitions,on our own agenda and interests, on our own ways and idiosyncrasies. No wonder, we do not catch any fish.

            The Lord is inviting us: “Go into the deep…Duc in altum.” Let us allow the Lord Jesus to get into our boats and lead us into the depths. Let us open our hearts to his love…listen to his voice…and let down our nets for a catch.       

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