Put out into the Deep

And he said to them: “Put out into the deep, and lower your nets for a catch.”
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Friends in Christ, This is the phrase John Paul II spoke when he was newly named Pope. ‘Put out into the deep.’ He wanted us to look outward, to cast Jesus’ net for souls. This is a wonderful part of being a Catholic today; it is true, that the sea is kind of rough, strong wind. But the fishing is really about to pick up.
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I remember as if it were just yesterday, when I was about 18, we were up North on a family vacation, on a lake. That year, there was a lot of very poor weather. The temperature dropped quickly. Cold, rainy – not nice.
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But my brother Joe and I insisted on going out on the boat, rain gear, the whole bit. We went to the cove we thought most promising; we put the anchor down, but the wind made us drag the anchor, and drift across the mouth of the cove. Casting different kinds of lures, hoping for a big fish, we were cold.
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I said, ‘Joe, the weather is rough, its miserable, let’s go.’ ‘One more cast,’ he said. I’ve heard that before. But then it hit. At first he thought he had a snag, but not with a stick bait near the surface. Oh, it was a fish! And it would be a battle and the most exciting moment of any vacation we’ve had.
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Friends, the fishing can sometimes be the best when the weather is rough. When there is a big change in temperature.
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Well, the weather of the world today is rough, the storms are here and the temperature of the hearts of men today is getting cold. The Russians on the move, Issis, Ebola, terrorism – young people not getting married, twisted lies about marriage.
The weather has changed quickly. Some say it is the end of the world, but perhaps the fishing is actually about to pick up.
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What the world has been missing for centuries, is a good contrast; a contrast between the way of Jesus Christ, and the other choices.
The Catholic Church is criticized, even vilified. Yet She is the lone voice teaching the truth and beauty of marriage and sexuality. It is our voice – that of Christians – speaking up for freedom of religion, for the rights of Man, and the defense of innocent human life. These days, the beauty of Christ is seen in stark contrast to the horror on TV.
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There is no better time to be alive; we are part of a great adventure with the Lord, but we must do our part, be faithful ourselves to Jesus’ great work. People can be discouraged.
But it’s usually when the storm clouds come, that the fishing is best.

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