The Reverend Robert C. Wright of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, GA authored a thoughtful reflection on this Sunday’s gospel. He entitled it, “Why Some People Don’t Catch Fish.”
One of his points is that some people think they know more about fish than God. It happens to all of us sometimes. It’s not that we actually think we know more than God; it’s just that we behave that way.
We hear God’s instructions: Forgive a whole bunch. Bless those who curse you. Remember the Sabbath day, etc. But we ignore God’s invitation to reward. We say to God by our actions: I know more about marriage, more about healing, more about forgiveness, than you do, God.
Simon, at that crucial intersection we all come to over and over again in life, decided that he didn’t know everything: his present emptiness and frustration had made him ready to learn. Now there’s a good definition of humility: a readiness to learn.
People say that the net full of fish is the miracle of this story, but I disagree. The real miracle of this story is that Simon decided that God was God and that he would live differently, beginning immediately.
Just look at what Simon says before the miracles begin to happen, “Yet, Lord if you say so….” My frustration is real, Lord. My pain is real. My emptiness is real. And, yet, you are God and I am not.
That’s when our miracles will begin to happen, that’s when we will start catching fish, when we decide that God is God, when our lips and our lives agree that “God’s foolishness is wiser than any human wisdom.”
Simon’s full net is just a consequence of that fact, of that revelation. What a freedom Simon got that day, what a joy…when he realized “God is God and knows more than me.”