PUT OUT IN THE DEEP WATER
This is the third and last article connected with my latest message series called “THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE”. The journey through this series has challenged us to think about our own story of life—which is important, significant and meaningful for us but not in the way we would expect. To really understand our lives and our story is to put it into context with God’s bigger story of salvation. When we realize that our stories play a role in God’s story of love it changes our perspective and I think the choices we make.
Our stories intersect, influence and rely on those around us too. All of us living God’s bigger story of salvation is like an orchestra playing a beautiful song or a team working together for victory. Our stories become complete when we put out in the deep waters as faithful and loving disciples expressing our faith in everything we do.
STORIES THAT TRULY INSPIRE!!
Over the first two homilies of the series I shared some of my favourite movies, television shows and musicals. All of these stories inspire, challenge and entertain us. Yet the greatest stories that bring together our faith and daily lives are the lives of the saints. These are true, powerful and tangible examples of life that is not seen on a screen or tablet. Getting to know the saints help us realize that living our stories as chapters in God’s bigger story can change the world. Here are a couple of saints that give me strength!!
ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
St. Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan priest who volunteered to die in place of a man named Franciszek Gajowniczek in the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz located in German-occupied Poland during World War II. He was canonized by St. John Paul II on October 10, 1982 who called St. Maximilian “The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century”.
I chose St. Maximilian Kolbe for my Confirmation name because of his courage, faithfulness and willingness to so freely give up his life so that someone else could live. I have visited Auschwitz four times over the years and made special pilgrimage to the place where he died. He said, “Let us remember that love lives through sacrifice and is nourished by giving. Without sacrifice there is no love.”
ST. TERESA OF CALCUTTA
Mother Teresa was a gracious gift to us and a reminder of the call to serve all those who are in need because each person is Jesus in disguise. She was humble, determined and a true inspiration for us to do what we can. We don’t need to change the world but just change one life at a time. Mother Teresa taught us that great things can come from a simple genuine love of Christ doing small things for the poorest of the poor. She was fueled by her faith and love for Jesus realizing that her life was a small story in God’s great story of salvation. Mother Teresa once said, “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”
SO WHAT’S THE STORY FOR US?
The gospel this weekend from Luke gives us the path for our own stories when Jesus tells some fishermen to go out for a catch even though they spent all night and caught nothing.
“Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
To live God’s story each day means that we need to risk—to go out into the deep waters beyond our comfort zones into the unknown willing to share God’s love through our talents, abilities and service.
“Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
This is Peter’s response to Jesus after letting down the nets and catching so many fish that the nets begin to break. Peter shares his humility and unworthiness to live God’s story. We too need to be humble and not in control offering ourselves to the Lord as instruments of light and hope for the world.
“Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”
Christ tells us not to be afraid to go out into the deep and not to fear our sins or the feeling of unworthiness. Jesus is the one who empowers us to go and catch people—to bring others to know and love the Lord.
“…they left everything and followed Jesus.”
For us to live God’s story fully is to give up control, put everything else aside and follow wherever Christ leads us. This may seem too much for us to do but it becomes the only way to live our lives completely. May the story of our life be filled with grace!