I'm Going Fishing
Share with me a favorite story of Simon Peter, the apostle,
in memory of his life and the good news that he shared with us.
Simon Peter, Thomas the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
and the two sons of Zebedee, were there,
together with two other disciples.
- It was after the resurrection.
- The disciples had seen the empty tomb.
- They had seen Jesus raised to life again.
- They had heard reports of Jesus seen by others
on the road to Emmaus.
- But it was before Pentecost.
- They were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit.
- They were unsure of what they should do.
- There are 50 days between Passover and festival of Pentecost.
There was no reason to stay in Jerusalem.
- So they went home.
Simon Peter said, "I'm going fishing!"
The others said, "We'll go with you."
They went out in their boat.
But they didn't catch anything that night.
- Peter is being true to himself as God made him - as well as he knows himself.
- He is a Galilean in Galilee.
- He is a commercial fisherman from a commercial fishing family.
- He is a man of action. He needs to do something.
- So he says, "I'm going fishing." It is the best thing he knows for him to do.
Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore,
but the disciples did not realize who he was.
- The result of doing the best they can is that Jesus comes to them.
- Yet Jesus is unrecognized when he comes.
- They walked together throughout Galilee, Judea, and the surrounding area.
- They had seen seen Jesus after the resurrection.
- It was getting light and they weren't far out from shore
Jesus shouted, "Friends [children],
have you caught anything?"
"No," they answered.
So he told them, "Let your net down on the right side
of your boat, and you will catch some fish."
They did, and the net was so full of fish that they
could not drag is up into the boat.
- When Jesus comes, and when they follow his direction,
they have success at their fishing.
Jesus' favorite disciple [the disciple loved by Jesus]
told Peter, "It's the Lord!"
When Simon heard that it was the Lord, he put on the clothes
that he had taken off while he was working.
Then he jumped into the water.
The boat was only about 100 yards from shore.
So the other disciples stayed in the boat
and dragged in the net full of fish.
- Simon Peter is true his thick-headedness, too.
He has to be told that the man on shore is Jesus.
- As soon as he realizes, Peter does not hesitate
but leaps into the sea.
- This is also who Peter is.
When the disciples got out of the boat,
they saw some bread and a charcoal fire with fish on it.
Jesus told his disciples, "Bring some of the fish you just caught."
Simon Peter got back into the boat and dragged the net to shore.
In it were 153 large fish, but still the net did not rip.
- Jesus has fish but he asks for fish from the fishermen.
- Jesus asks them to give something from what they have,
not something new that they don't know how to find.
- They have fish because Jesus gave them the directions to catch the fish.
Jesus said, "Come and eat [breakfast]!"
But none of the disciples dared to ask who he was.
They knew he was the Lord.
- Now they knew who he was.
- Yet to make note of this is to admit that there are questions as well.
- "How do you know it is the Lord?"
- "Why didn't you recognize him right away?"
- "When your friends ask, 'How can you be sure?', what can you tell them?"
Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave some of it to his disciples.
He did the same with the fish.
This was the third time that Jesus appeared to his disciples
after he was raised from death.
- Jesus and the fishermen share breakfast.
- Jesus gives bread to the fishermen, something they did not have.
- Symbolically, Jesus adds to who Peter is.
- Jesus sees more in Peter that Peter saw in himself.
- Peter may never have gone fishing on the lake again
- Peter does not stop being true to who God has made him.
June 29, 1999, the Feast of Holy Peter the Apostle