This Sunday's Gospel couldn't be any more perfect for the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. And the Church didn't plan it...this is just the way the calendar falls this year!
We have heard the story over and over about Jesus preaching to a large crowd and then telling Peter to "put out into the deep and lower your net." Peter was probably tired, since he would have been up very early (or all night) fishing and had no luck with catching anything. I'm sure he thought Jesus was a little crazy...it's the middle of the day, no way are they doing to catch anything. But Peter was obedient to a man he barely knew and to his astonishment he hauled in an amazing catch of fish.
When we're tired and fed up with our work, how often do we say to Jesus, "but at your command I will..." We all lead busy lives and can be tired and frustrated after a long day, and because we're tired we don't take the time we need to pray. I know I'm guilty of it. Before we can do what Jesus asks of us, we first need to listen, which we all know is the toughest thing to do. God doesn't shout at us or give us great signs; He stirs our heart in silence.
Lent is approaching quickly, a wonderful reminder for all of us to enter into the desert once again. So often we want to be like Peter and say "Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful person." But Jesus responds to all of us, "Do not be afraid." This Lent, do not be afraid to put out into the deep and cast your nets. Do not be afraid to leave things behind and follow Jesus. Do not be afraid to put God first and things of this world second.
Jesus didn't say "It's alright to sit on your couch and drink beer all night, I'm sure you'll make it to Mass on Sunday." No, he said "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."