Put out into the deep water. (Luke 5:4)
If you were here one year ago, when we read this gospel passage, you might remember that I said: This reading always makes me think of Blessed Pope John Paul II and his celebration of the Jubilee Year 2000. When the Pope brought the Holy Year to a close, he proposed a new motto for us: Put out into the deep!
The Pope wrote that the Year 2000 served as the ideal opportunity for the Church to examine how far She had renewed Herself.
To examine how far we have renewed ourselves. What happened? What moved the Church to renew Herself in the first place? The Second Vatican Council.
If we think: “liberal” Vatican II vs. “conservative” Popes John Paul and Benedict, we get the whole thing completely wrong.
To see it that way is to skate on the surface, missing the substance of the Council and the pontificates. Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI personally contributed to the Second Vatican Council when they were younger men. In their teaching as Popes, both have referred over and over again to the Second Vatican Council as the great gift the Lord has given to us in our age.
Now the same generous Lord is giving us the upcoming Holy Year in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
So we must ask ourselves: Have we thoroughly renewed ourselves as Christ’s disciples and apostles? The Second Vatican Council opened up to us the original treasures of the Church of Christ. Have we let these treasures inflame us with zeal and fill our hearts with selfless love?
I think that Blessed Pope John Paul II is pulling for us up in heaven right now. He wants to see us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, take our places, walking right alongside Sts. Peter and Paul and John, and the Blessed Mother, as if Pentecost just happened yesterday.