Dear Friends in Christ,
When the Church crossed the threshold of the millennium a new stage of the Church’s journey began. At the heart of this new adventure was the new evangelisation – a fresh, new and dynamic desire to ‘put out into the deep’ duc in altum. Peter and his first companions trusted Christ’s words and cast their nets, and ‘When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break’. These words, ‘duc in altum’ put out into the deep, still ring out for us today, and they invites us to remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm and look forward to the future with confidence because ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever’.
The invitations ‘to put out into the deep’ are primarily one of evangelisation, of winning souls for Christ. Jesus is the goal of history and the one Saviour of the world. The Church and the Spirit cry out in unity: ‘Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus’. Jesus is also the goal and purpose of our lives, and the litmus test of faith is always: do you know Jesus Christ our Lord? For in knowing and loving him we become strengthened in grace and love to share this blessing with others.
We are called no to be afraid but to be fishers of men and women. We are called to understand the deep desires and longings of every human heart – but in order to do that, we must first understand our own. We thirst to know the Living God. We cry out to know God’s mercy and forgiveness in such a way that deep joy and happiness well up within. The Spirit is the One who quenches thirst and brings new life. This is the merciful love of the Father which was made known in Christ. When we come to touch the goodness, kindness and compassion of God our hearts sing out: ‘O give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever’. We are ambassadors of God’s mercy, channels of his love, witnesses of his goodness and kindness.
Lord, fill my heart with a new confidence to win others over to the living love and mercy of God.