“Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing.” (John 21:3)
Can we disobey the will of God for our lives and still be successful? Or can we possibly ignore God’s words, disregard his commandments and still hope to achieve our dreams and aspirations in life? Peter was already a successful fisherman when Jesus called him. Even though Peter did not receive any training to be a Rabbi, Jesus saw in him qualities capable of heading the Church.
One night, Peter and his fellow fishermen worked all through and caught nothing. The following morning, Jesus used his boat to preach. Afterward, Jesus asked Peter to put out a little from the shore and Peter protested: “Master, we worked all night and caught nothing…” (Luke 5:5). Eventually, they netted such a huge catch that they had to call other fishermen to help them. Peter said to Jesus: “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8).
In today’s Gospel passage, Peter despite his three-year walk with Jesus, said to his fellow disciples: “I am going fishing.” Given Peter was their leader, the other disciples followed. The same thing that happened in Luke chapter 5 happened again in John 21. They toiled all night and caught nothing. The following morning, Jesus was standing by the shore and he told them to cast their nets right there and behold a great catch; one hundred and fifty-three big fishes all at once!
Sometimes, it is good for us to experience failure so that we may have the opportunity of asking ourselves certain very serious questions. “Am I just trying to make money or am I doing what God brought me to this life to do?” This experience had another profound effect on Peter. It made him realize that the God who called him was the creator and director of everything in this world. It made Peter totally fearless knowing that with God on his side, no human being can threaten him.
It is this fearlessness that we see in Peter in today’s first reading. Consider the boldness with which he spoke to the Chief priests and leaders of the Jews: “Let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.” (Acts 4:10-11).
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, I place my trust in you. May I never take any decision in life without first consulting you. Amen.
(Bible Study: Acts 4:1-12, Ps. 118:1-2,4,22-27, John 21:1-14)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu