1st Reading: Acts 4:1-12; Psalm: 118. R. v. 22; Gospel: Jn 21:1-14
DROPPING OUR OLD NETS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
When we don’t succeed in learning a new job, there is that tendency to return to the previous job we abandoned. Jesus was dead and gone and this seemed like the end of his movement of preaching the gospel. With this kind of feeling, Peter decided to go back to his previous occupation of fishing; the exact job he was doing before Jesus called him. When he picked up his net again, some other apostles followed him. But something very remarkable happened. The exact experience he had when the Lord first called him repeated itself. He fished all night and caught nothing but at the command of Jesus, he tried again and hauled a great quantity of fish. By this sign, he recognised it was the Lord.
This repeated experience was to remind Peter of the Lord’s command when he first called him. Recall that Jesus said to him: “Henceforth, you will no longer be catching fish but men.” Since Peter failed in keeping this command by returning to fishing, Jesus had to make him pass through this experience again so that he can leave that net and go back to the vocation he was previously called to embrace which was to fish men into the kingdom of God. If Peter obeyed this command, he shall win many souls for God. This was the meaning of that sign of Peter’s great catch of fish.
Our life takes a completely different turn when we choose to follow Jesus. At this point, we no longer live for ourselves but for Christ. Sometimes we fall back to the life we have abandoned before because we feel the Christian life is too demanding. God has called us to various vocations. Some are celibates while some are single or married. How faithful are we to our call? Do we go back to pick up our old nets? That relationship and habit we had before God called us to a committed Christian life. How about our jobs? Do we show laxity in carrying them out? To every Christian, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Lk 9:62).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Risen Jesus, renew our commitment in serving you. Amen.