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What faith and obedience can enable us

That gospel episode where Christ asked Peter to put out into deep water and lower his nets for a catch shows us that when we would simply have faith in God, we can do wonders in our spiritual life and apostolate despite the great odds that we may have to contend with. (cfr. Lk 5,1-11)

At first, Peter was doubtful if what Christ told him was worth following. “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,” he said. but to his credit, he immediately corrected himself. “But at your command I will lower the nets.”

The story is very moving indeed, and the good news is that it can happen to any of us as long as we have faith and trust in God. And because of that faith and trust, we can just obey God’s will and ways even if humanly speaking they may appear to us as an impossibility.

We need to learn to trust God, and in his word and in his ways, no matter how they seem unreasonable, impractical or impossible. For this, we have to go beyond our own understanding and estimation of things, and open our mind and heart to the light of our faith and love for God and for others.

While it’s true that we have to use all our human faculties in dealing with our earthly affairs and concerns, that is, our intelligence and will, our sciences and arts, our common sense and cultural and social wisdom, we should not forget that all these would have no real value unless they are engaged with our faith in God.

God knows everything. He is omnipotent. He actually intervenes in our lives in the most intimate way since he is the one who ultimately supports our existence and who governs it wisely with his providence.

We have to realize that God continues to work and to govern over all his creation, and as his image and likeness, as his children, we are meant to cooperate in carrying God’s work and governance here on earth. Seen in this way, any work we do, as long as it is honest and good work, is actually first of all God’s work before it is ours. We should be excited to carry out that work with him!

We should just develop the sense of feeling at home with the fact that our life and all the challenges and trials we are going to face in it will always demand from us things beyond our powers and resources. And that’s simply because we are meant to go to God for all our needs, without neglecting any effort we can give along the way.

With God, we have everything. As St. Teresa de Avila would put it, “Solo Dios basta!” What we lack in our humanity, we can always make up by relying always and completely on God.

But, alas, this can happen only when we have faith, for faith is our best resource. As St. John puts it in his first letter, “This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.” (Jn 5,4) Without faith, we are left with a big problem right from the start.

Thus, before all this exciting drama and adventure of life, our attitude should be that of being sporty and game, based on our faith in God and trust in his all-powerful and merciful providence. This attitude is actually what is presumed every time we enter into some form of commitment, whether to a vocation or marriage or work, etc.*

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January 2023
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