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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus climbs into Peter’s boat without asking permission. He simply commandeers this vessel that is central to the fisherman’s life and commences to give orders. This represents something of enormous moment: the invasion of grace.

Though God respects our relative independence, he is not the least bit content to leave us in a “natural” state. Instead, he wants to live in us, to become the Lord of our lives, moving into our minds, wills, bodies, imaginations, nerves, and bones.

This commandeering of nature by grace does not involve the compromising of nature but rather its perfection and elevation. When Jesus moves into the house of the soul, the powers of the soul are heightened and properly directed; when Jesus commands the boat of the natural human life, that life is preserved, strengthened, and given a new orientation.

This is signaled symbolically by the Lord’s directive to put out into the deep water. On our own, we can know and will within a very narrow range, seeking those goods and truths that appear within the horizon of our natural consciousness, but when grace invades us, we are enticed into far deeper waters.