When we hear some of the Gospel readings, sometimes we only take in the surface image and simply see them as a “great story”. Last Friday we had the scene from the Gospel of John that takes place after the Resurrection of Christ, where Peter and some of the other disciples are back in Galilee and decide to go fishing (John 21: 1-14). From the outside it seems like a normal scenario, and then ends with the joy of them seeing the Risen Christ on the shore and catching a full net of fish. However, if we look deeper into the context, the beginning of this scene is quite a tragedy. Notice what Peter says at the very beginning: “I am going fishing” (John 21:2). He was a fisher by trade, so one would think that it was no big deal that he was going to go for a regular day of work.
Let’s take a step back to the FIRST time Jesus meets Peter. In Luke’s Gospel we have a similar scene taking place in Galilee again where Peter is fishing and Christ calls them to let down their nets in deeper water. They catch an abundant amount of fish and everyone is amazed! Notice what Christ tells Peter shortly after: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching [PEOPLE]” (Luke 5:10). Peter was supposed to be a fisher of people now…what was he doing being a fisher of fish again?!
Place yourself in Peter’s shoes for a moment. You leave your one and only trade to follow a guy, who turns out to be the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah, and completely changes your life! Then you watch Him be tortured, crucified and die on the cross. Not at ALL what you expected! To a regular person, it made no sense, and naturally would stir a sense of doubt. It’s interesting because even though Peter had already seen the Risen Christ, he still housed doubt in his heart enough to pull him to go back to his old way of life.
It’s easy to get caught into doubt in today’s world. You feel on fire one day, and then you come back to the world and you get crushed right back down. The question now arises…are you TRULY living out the resurrection in your life? Has Christ risen in your life or is He still in the tomb? Have you gone back to your old ways and “gone fishing”? If we allow ourselves to stay in our old ways and our old lifestyle, we will be allowing that doubt to constantly enter back into our hearts.
St. Paul reminds us in his second letter to the Corinthians that “whoever is in Christ is a [NEW] creation: the old things have passed away; behold, [NEW] things have come” (2 Cor 5:17). Through Christ we have become NEW! We have been completely transformed! We don’t need to go back to our old ways and our old sense of control. We spent 40 days in fasting, prayer and almsgiving to create a change in us, not for it to be a temporary phase. Take a moment to reflect on your own Lenten promises. Have you changed since then? Have you developed new good habits and tackled old bad habits, or have you sunk back to the same way you were before those 40 days?
Bask in the joy that Christ has RISEN in your life, and share that joy with the WORLD! ALLELUJA!
“Now death where is your sting? Our Resurrected King has rendered you defeated!” -Kari Jobe.
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