When I titled this reflection “The Power of Obedience to God,” I did not mean to suggest that obedience is a means by which we can manipulate God in our relationship with Him. There is no way at all that we can force God to do anything or control His actions. He is free from any constraint that we might seek to impose upon Him. One thing we can be sure about is that He will be faithful to His own promises. In the Gospel today we find the disciples have just spent an unsuccessful night fishing. However, when Jesus arrives on the shore they follow His advice and cast the nets out one more time. Amazingly, they are filled to breaking point. I think that we can learn from this experience something f the unpredictability of life. How many times that night had they thrown the nets out with no catch of fish as the result. Yet, this last cast into the deep yields a harvest that threatens to sink their boats! It just goes to show that we if we persevere our fortune can change at any moment. I think we should also reflect upon the meaning of “the deep.” What is Jesus referring to here? Obviously, He is literally referring to the deeper parts of the lake where the disciples are fishing. Perhaps we can also see it as a reference to the depths of the store of God’s blessings for us in the light of their bountiful catch. It is certain that we can always rely upon the store of God’s love and goodness never running out. How do we best tap into this store of grace and blessings? Obedience is a very undervalued commodity in today’s world. So much of the emphasis of today’s culture is upon self-reliance and self-determination to the point that obedience to a superior seems to be seen as something that is weak. Obedience gets a lot of bad press. This is a big mistake. Yes, any individual must be given the necessary freedom to express themselves and grow in personal responsibility and maturity but, and it is a big but, this must all be seen within the context of obedience to the will of God. Without obedience to God’s will our lives will very quickly deteriorate into something that is destructive of others and ourselves. Obedience to God must be the over-arching framework within which we live our lives. Without this structure everything will be prone to head in the direction of disaster. When we move outside the ambit or bounds of God’s will, we move into territory that is uncharted and under the influence of sin. Am I doing my best to live my life according to the will of God or have I chosen t go my own way? Holy Spirit, help me to realise that true happiness and fulfilment will come only when I am living according to the will of God. Help me to see how this is the only way to ensure access to all the blessings He desires to give me in my life.