There’s more to life than just fish. Peter and a few of the disciples were out near the see:
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. -John 21:3-7, NAB
Taking a break from our study of Romans, today’s Gospel reading from Mass touched me, and I was moved by the words of our Pastor during his homily. So, I wanted to take today to share this excellent message.
First, we begin by Peter going fishing, and the rest of the disciples following. Why is this a big deal? Peter is a fisherman by trade, right? Right. But, Peter is also someone whose Lord and Savior has just risen from the dead. Peter is the one that Christ gave the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, but instead of going out to preach the good news, Peter is going back to his old ways. Have you gone back to your old ways? When you first found faith, it was exciting and new. You felt alive for the very first time. You felt as if nothing in the world could stop you. Then, life settles back in. The excitement and newness of faith wears off, and we settle right back into our old way of doing things. We turn away from our faith and back to the world.
Peter was back to fishing again – hoping for that big catch. He needed to eat, so he decided to do what he knew best – fish. Unfortunately, he came up empty. With all of his skills as a fisherman, he still caught nothing. Regardless of the work he had put in, he was still hungry. Peter was looking to find what he needed through his own abilities, in only what the world could offer him. Somehow, he failed to realize that the world will never truly satisfy us. No matter how much we fish for happiness in life, we will never find it in the world. Our successes, accomplishments, wealth, and other worldly treasures will never be able to make us happy.
Finally, Peter cast his net on the right side of the boat, just as Christ had commanded. He decided to follow Christ, and his boat was full of fish. It was the wake-up call that he and the other disciples needed. Instead of trusting in their own abilities, they trusted in the Lord. By trusting in Him, they had more than they could have ever gained on their own. How true is that in our lives? We struggle to find the smallest bit of happiness in worldly things that never satisfy, but we should be turning to God who will give us a greater happiness than we could ever imagine!
Finally, Peter realized what he was doing wrong, jumped out of the boat, and swam as fast as he could back to Jesus. Now’s your turn! Jump out of the boat! Swim, run, skip, or fly your way back to Jesus as fast as you possibly can. Let go of what the world is offering you and accept the abundant happiness that can only be found in the Lord. Stop searching for happiness in a world that never satisfies. Give your life back to Jesus, and He will give you everything you truly need.