Dina Belloti was an artist active for many years in her studio just off the Via della Conciliazione, in front of the Vatican. As a family friend of St. Paul VI, she came to Rome when he became pope. Her 1972 painting Miraculous Haul of Fishes is simple, yet evocative. With a few brush strokes, she brings a scene to life and places us there.
Peter is tired, overworked, and frustrated with the lack of results. A stranger on the shore, Jesus of Nazareth, asks him to cast the net again. Although the logic of fishing dictates otherwise, Peter follows his hunch and trusts this voice for one more cast.
We’ve all been there. We work hard to do the right thing. We try to extend God’s kingdom, and sometimes it seems our results aren’t up to par. If we listen to Jesus, we never come up empty. Sometimes we fish where we’re not called, led by our own passions and stubbornness. There we reap what we sow. Other times, we simply go along without heart. We can feel caged by fate or a hopeless situation. But then we wake up to the fact that even there we can love. Even then we can hear his voice, feel his love, and focus on responding to his call. Then miracles can happen!
Jesus loves everyone, not because they are saints, but because he wants them to be. So rather than look at why we shouldn’t be blessed by him, turn to him, then receive his gratuitous love. Then without fear, share that experience with others as fishers of men.
-Fr. Mark Haydu, LC
Introduction to the Liturgy of the Word
An unlikely thread links the three people who are called to be disciples in today’s readings: all pronounce themselves unworthy, Isaiah, Paul, and Peter are saints and prophets, but each sees himself first as a sinner. As we listen to the readings today, let us realize that even though we too are unworthy, God still calls us to be disciples.