Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Sometimes when I’m struggling to carry my cross, feelings of being totally alone and frustration begins to mark every thought. I imagine Simon wasn’t in a great mood that night while fishing. Simon was a leader of the group, and he was failing at leading these men to catch their livelihood. All night, nets out and nets in with no fish. Not even one. It would’ve been so infuriating that a group of fishermen with giant nets couldn’t even catch one fish.
Recall a time where things just wouldn’t go right. How did you feel? What did you want to do? When nothing seems to go right, the first thing I want to do is stomp off and be alone. The stomping off is very important though, because I want to make sure everyone knows I’m mad. I think that is very telling to the human heart; I think I want to be alone but, in all reality, I desire to be seen right where I am. I want someone to recognize my pain.
Jesus knows the anguish of Simon and the others, but doesn’t immediately fill their nets with fish. First, Jesus invites Himself onto Simon’s boat. Christ desires to come to you, right where you are, in any and every pain. Jesus could’ve snapped His fingers and fish would begin to jump into the boat, but instead He teaches the crowd from the boat. He didn’t need Simon or his boat to teach the crowd, but as these men are feeling helpless, Jesus offered them a purpose far beyond their expectation.
Do you ever catch yourself pouting when Jesus shares in prayer that He just wants to be with you; when you want answers, healings, resolutions? Simon was a holy man. When Jesus told them to throw the nets, they threw the nets. Simon mentioned to Jesus that they’d already tried this—a shred of hopelessness still falling from his lips. Christ is present in the anguish; He gives Himself to them. He doesn’t stop there though.
Jesus knows the littlest and greatest desires of your heart, and in His way and His time they will all be provided for. Jesus knows, even if we struggle to, that our deepest desire is to be with Him. Our moments of anguish, marked by emotional overreaction and isolation, can be the opportune time for Him to ask to climb in your boat for a time. In our smallness, He gives us to the opportunity to be with the living God, spreading the message of Love.
If you feel like things haven’t been going your way lately, I invite you to breathe deep today. Raise your eyes from the empty nets; Christ wants to enter into that place with you for your sake and the sake of the whole world. You are radically loved far beyond what our hearts broken by sin continue to tell us. You are seen when you stomp, and when you don’t. You are seen when you run, and when you are steadfast. The Lord will provide dear child for all that you need. You are not alone.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Have you ever had time you felt like giving up?
It may be hard to see, but how was God with you in those moments? (Even if He is just there suffering with you)
Do you trust God enough to cast out the nets one more time like Peter? What does that mean for you in your life right now?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Jesus I trust in you."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"I am love by You, God."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Cast out your nets again. Listen to Jesus and trust Him. And as this is a common passage about discernment, look up a couple religious orders today and see if God might be calling you to something.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Deacon Robert Blood, seminarian and transitional deacon of the Diocese of Rockford.
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