Friday, April 17, 2009

Deja Vu

First Reading: Acts 4:1-12
Psalm: Ps 118:1-2, 4, 22-27a
Gospel: Jn 21:1-14


In today's gospel, Jesus speaks to the apostles, telling them to cast their nets one last time after a long night of fruitless fishing. Immediately, the nets are full to the breaking point and they recognize the Lord.
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." - John 21:3-7

A very similar story is heard elsewhere in the gospels. In fact, it is near the beginning of Jesus' ministry:
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets." When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man."- Luke 5:4-8
Once in a while, we experience the feeling of having been in the same situation before. If we are wise, we will have learned from the first time and be prepared for the second. Peter certainly learned something between the first catch and the second. In the first, he is trying to avoid Jesus, afraid of His presence. Today, he can't even wait for the boat to get back to shore he is so filled with joy.

In our lives, are we like Peter? I've heard from a number of people that they were at first afraid to approach God, afraid He might condemn them. Then afterword, after walking with Him a time, they're so full of the spirit and want to always be close to Jesus. Just a thought as we continue on in the Easter season.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of this day. We pray that You will help us to use it wisely, to learn and to grow, especially in faith. We pray for our brothers and sisters here on earth that do not yet know Your love for them. Please guide them on the path back to Your family, and make us instruments for the glorification of Your name. We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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