Simon Peter said, ‘I am going fishing.’ They replied, ‘We’ll come with you.’
There’s nothing strange about that phrase. Peter and other disciples were fishermen before they followed Jesus. There is nothing strange about them fishing. Is there?
Let’s look at the whole scenario and the context. Jesus’ crucifixion in the most horrible way was still very recent. The disciples were frightened, and probably in hiding. Jesus had appeared to Mary Magdalene, Cleopas and some unnamed disciples, but probably had not revealed Himself to Peter and his close associates who were also Jesus’ disciples. They were floundering, not sure what to do next as they had left their lives before to follow Jesus. Now that He was gone, they were lost and scared. What do they do? Like most of us, when we are uncertain how to move forward, we revert back to what we know, what puts us at ease or seems easy, what gives us a sense of security. For the disciples who were mostly fishermen before, they reverted back to fishing to try to calm their minds, hearts and souls.
When Peter recognized Jesus, he immediately left the boat, regardless of his state of undress. He was so excited to see Jesus, so happy, so relieved that the Lord was with them again! This joy overshadows any angst, any sadness or unease. Peter and the disciples who were missing a part of themselves, were made whole again when they encountered Jesus resurrected.
I’ve been there and have done that many times. When I am lost, hurt or uncertain, I tend to turn inward and revert back to my usual habit of dwelling in the pits with the feelings of fear, anger, or anxiety. It is only when I turn my eyes towards our Lord, that things churning in my mind settle down. When I focus on Jesus in prayer, there comes a calmness, a peace that stills all the tempests, real or imagined, and I am lifted out of my misery. His presence in prayer and in the Blessed Sacrament is a salve to my soul. Then I am strengthened once again.
Growth is an increase, a process of forming or developing. A moving beyond the initial confinements. When growth is stymied, a relapse or reverting back to the original state can occur. Let’s make sure that we all grow in faith and love; let us not revert back to our old wicked ways. The only way to do that is to encounter Jesus personally and to focus on Him. Only then will He give us the grace to grow.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Dear Jesus, grant us the grace to receive You in prayer and in the Blessed Sacrament. Be with us as we journey in this life and help us to avoid the pitfalls or to revert back to our sinful ways. Grant us the grace of strengthening our faith.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us and never abandoning us despite our many transgressions.
Winnie. A wonderful, pertinent observation. Thank you for this reflection.