IN His loving-kindness, God does not forsake the work of His hands; He gives us strength when we call on Him; and He fulfills His purpose for us (Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8). Jesus called Simon Peter to serve, and the man was terrified as he knew himself to be a sinner, but Jesus told him not to be afraid because he would be doing what He commanded him to do (Luke 5:1-11).
Steadfast love that endures forever
The psalmist, with all his heart, directly praises and thanks God for His loving-kindness. And the reason for this thankfulness is the fact that God has heard his prayers and his cries, apparently during his time of great distress. He called for help and God answered him and built up his strength within him. Now he sings praises to God’s name in the sight of His angels and in the presence of all in His holy temple. Indeed, God is faithful to His covenant with the people and keeps His promise; that is why the psalmist has his personal experience of divine goodness and truth to proclaim to the world.
In fact all nations and all the kings of the earth should praise and thank the Lord, when they hear of His revelation and of His purposes, of His greatness and of His goodness. God has exalted His name above everything; He is even greater than has ever been thought of before. The psalmist ends with a note of confidence that God’s love and faithfulness will endure forever, and hopefully God will never forsake His creatures, the work of His hands.
If it was God who created him, God is not going to abandon him. The psalmist confesses his trust in the Lord and His purposes, that God’s steadfast love will also be revealed in His commitment to the future completion of what He has intended for His servant.
Do not be afraid, you will be catching men
The command of Jesus to Simon Peter, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch,” carries a deeper meaning that shows when at the end of the Gospel narrative Jesus told him that “from now on you will be catching men.” Simon and his companions had a religious experience with their miraculous catch of fish that filled their two boats almost to the point of sinking. They sensed divine power at work in and through Jesus whom they now called “Lord.” They were overwhelmed and dwarfed by divine fullness and abundance. Simon felt his inadequacy and sinfulness in the presence of the Transcendent. Instead of embracing fullness, in his fearfulness he wanted it to go away.
But Jesus had something else in mind. Told not to be afraid, Simon was informed that he would “from now on…be catching men”; as Jesus has caught him, he is to catch others. He is to use his experience with Jesus to bring others to the same experience, being gathered into God’s loving embrace and saved from the abyss through the salvific work of Jesus Christ. In their new life with Jesus, they would put out into the deep and cast a different net and gather in believers beyond number.
Alálaong bagá, in the inauguration of His mission of salvation, Jesus called followers to join Him in gathering the people to God. Jesus summons His disciples to service even in their sinfulness and inadequacy. He will fulfill His purpose for them; He will be the strength of their soul. As we have received the faith, in turn we are to hand it on to others. We have been hearing these days that we Filipinos are destined as missionaries of Asia and to the world.
Join me in meditating on the Word of God every Sunday, 5 to 6 a.m. on DWIZ 882, or by audio-streaming on www.dwiz882.com.