Lectio Divina – 27
Fr Martin Kallunkal
“Later on, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like this: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said, ‘I’m going fishing.’ They replied, ‘We’ll come with you.’ They went out and got into the boat but caught nothing that night.When it was already light, there stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus called out, ‘Haven’t you caught anything, friends?’And when they answered, ‘No,’he said, ‘Throw the net out to starboard and you’ll find something.’ So they threw the net out and could not haul it in because of the quantity of fish” (Jn 21:1-6).
When Peter announces that he is going for fishing, the other disciples join him, without reserve, as if they have been waiting for a call from someone. Ever since the disciples saw the risen Jesus previously, they have been looking forward to seeing him again. Nevertheless, Jesus did not show up. The time of waiting became very difficult for the disciples. They began to grow impatient due to utter inaction, and they wanted a relief of action. They all needed something to occupy their minds and hands so that they could escape aimless brooding and uncertain expectation. In addition, Peter might have had another personal reason for choosing fishing. He might have been having unbearable memories: the call he received while he was fishing, the intimacy with which Jesus loved him, the dreams he had about the day of Jesus’ victory, the way everything turned upside down with Jesus’ death, and, the night he plainly denied Jesus. Peter now knows that Jesus has forgiven him, for the angel who first announced Jesus’ resurrection (Mk 16:7) explicitly mentioned his name. Peter goes for fishing at this moment because he wants Jesus to call him again, and thus he wants to start his life again. We may learn a couple of things from this event. First, instead of sitting idle in the hours of disappointments, temptations and unidentifiable sorrows, we must work. We must work in the nights of life. Even if nothing turns profitable, we must continue to work until the dawn. Work is a healing act, which calls out our hidden energy and courage. Second, Jesus’ next meeting with us is at our work, not in our hideouts. Jesus will crown our work with unimaginable success. Whoever has will be given more (Lk 8:18).
O’ Lord, each time you meet with us you also teach us a number of valuable lessons. Thank you for opening our inner eyes to see the blessedness of work. Lord, we realize that there is neither any reason nor any excuse for remaining inactive. We must keep our minds and hands always occupied with our daily works, and thus safeguard our hearts from hopelessness. Lord, sometimes our nights are longer than usual, and we are knocked down repeatedly by failures. Lord, help us to believe that night-however long it may be-will pass away and the light of your smiling face will illumine us.
Nights darkened by a vivid sense of God’s absence in life are brighter than the days illumined by pointless laughter. Learn to appreciate silent work more than debates on the reasonableness of choices.
Take a list of virtues and tasks that you have stopped pursuing due to setbacks and failures. Just like Peter went for fishing with the hope that Jesus, standing on the shore or walking on water, would call him again, create some starting ritual, and try one more time.