Even if we’re not fishermen or anglers I think we can all sympathise with Saint Peter. Peter was a professional fisherman. Knowing the waters of the lake and the suitable times for fishing, as well as understanding the best techniques, were essential to his livelihood. Having done everything right and having tried all night long he and his companions had caught nothing.
Then along came Our Lord who told Peter to put out into deep water, not the best spot in the lake, and just after the sun had risen, again not the proper time. Peter began with a protest: “Master, we have worked hard all night long and caught nothing.” A struggle then took place within him. He was on the verge of telling Our Lord that what he had suggested was nonsense, but a sudden realisation came over him. Perhaps it was wise to do as Our Lord suggested. The miraculous catch of fish was the beginning of Peter’s faith as well as his call to ministry.
We must always remember that God’s ways are not our ways. Saint Paul was adamant about that, insisting that what seems to be nonsense is in actual fact God’s wisdom, and what seems to be weakness is really God’s strength. Who are we to tell God how to run the universe?
There are those religious and priests who will say that it’s foolish to persevere with their vocation when the going gets tough, or for married people to struggle to keep their marriage together, when divorce is so easy. Others judge the Church heartless in its opposition to abortion, when others cry out for the freedom for an expectant mother to do as she pleases with her unborn child. Some think it is naïve to believe that simple bread can become the Body of Christ. But, as we have discovered, the ways of God are wise; and they work, as they did for Saint Peter that day on the lake.