After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
~ Luke 5:4-6
The other day, I got a request from a friend on what to do. She has unwittingly befriended a prison-inmate, yes a convicted criminal, through Facebook hoping to be of help to him. Initially, she did not know his real situation in life. She is into Internet marketing and now this guy wanted her help to set up his own internet enterprise. She requested for more info and that is when she found out who he really was. She is now worried and wanted some advice on what to do.
My initial gut reaction was to recoil in fear and apprehension. Almost spontaneously I wanted to tell her to go and run away immediately. Then, I was reminded of the Good Samaritan. If I had come across that man who had fallen among robbers, I probably would have gone the way of the priest and the Levite – skirted away from the man. But the Good Samaritan stopped and took care of the victim.
The tendency to stay in my comfort zone is always strong. But the Lord keeps on challenging me, “Put out into the deep.” Duc in altum. Dare to venture out. Get out of your selfishness and self-preoccupation. But no, my usual reaction is to remain in my smugness and indifference. I find all sorts of alibi to refuse doing good. I say I care for the poor but it is so hard for me to give even just small alms to homeless or jobless people in the streets. I love being inspired by the beatitudes and yet when was the last time I fed a hungry person, or gave a drink to one who is thirsty, or comforted one in sorrow, or brought peace to people in conflict, or even just avoided fanning the scourge of hatred and anger and division?
“Lord, let me take your words to let out into the deep more seriously. Unmoor me from my securities and let me find your out there in unfamiliar waters.”