Peter and his companions were professional fishermen and did their work at night when the fish came to the surface. They’d worked hard but caught nothing. Now they’re being told by a carpenter to put out during the day! Peter obeys Jesus, and he’s totally shocked and stunned when they do indeed catch a giant shoal of fish. Peter recognises God’s hand in what’s happened and, at the same time, realises his own sinfulness. He tells Jesus to go away and not be bothered with the likes of him.
Happily, Jesus doesn’t take Peter’s advice to distance Himself from sinners. Jesus has come “to seek out and save the lost.” (Lk. 19:10). So, Jesus travels into people’s lives, not away from them. He enters their homes … meets their families, sits and eats at their tables, listens to their stories, and calls them to a new way of life.
Jesus wants Peter to share all this with Him, so He calls Peter away from focussing on his own sinfulness, and instead, invites him to see himself as a leader who will bring others closer to God.
Jesus had important work to do. He wanted Peter and his friends to help Him. The fishermen had worked hard all night, but couldn’t catch any fish. Jesus told them to lower their nets once more and suddenly their nets were full of big fish – 153 of them! He had worked this miracle to show them that everything is possible for God. Peter and his friends became disciples of Jesus and went everywhere with Him, learning how to show love to others.
God our loving Father, You are kind and full of compassion. May we turn to You this coming Lent and learn to know You as the source of all love and mercy, so that we, in our turn, can become revolutionaries of tenderness in Jesus’ name.
O God, give the gift of perseverance.
If I fail in something the first time, help me to try and try again until I succeed.
If I have to do something difficult, help me not to get discouraged, but to keep on trying.
If I find that results are slow to come, give patience, that I may learn to wait.
Help me to remember that the more difficult something is, the greater is the satisfaction in achieving it.
Help me to welcome every difficulty as a challenge, and an opportunity for victory, through Christ Our Lord.