As I am writing this post, I am reminded that even when no one seems to care about the person in question, Jesus does care and he is the only person that truly is able to love unconditionally and without judgement. Sometimes, it is not easy to be able to accept someone but with time, things can change, one moment at a time.
Without Jesus, the disciples who were fishermen did not catch anything and it was night and there was darkness. Without God, our lives would be in darkness and there is a danger of losing oneself. Sin and temptations draw us away from Jesus and I have felt that the more I went away from Jesus, the more I was unsure of myself and where I was heading.
The gospel reading says,“When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realise 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.”(John 21:1-19). It is daybreak and Jesus is present because he is the light that guides us home and to salvation. He calls us his children and cares for our well-being as he made us in his image and likeness.
I have taken quite a beating these few weeks as I struggle to find the energy to push through. Things just did not seem to turn out right and I realised that it is a matter of trying another way. Sometimes, it takes trust and wisdom to know that there is a way out which is through prayer and faith.
The catch was so heavy that the nets did not tear but held firm and that is what our faith should be built on. It should be firmly rooted like a tree and also give shelter to those who need it the most.
It is comforting to picture Jesus making a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread for the disciples. Though the food must be delicious enough to satisfy the physical hunger, the food that the world needs today is also that of spiritual food. This is food that nourishes our soul and body in following and living out the teachings of Jesus.
After eating breakfast with Jesus which is similar to the breaking of bread, Jesus said to Simon Peter,“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you”(John 21:1-19). Jesus instructs Simon Peter to Feed his lambs, Tend my sheep and Feed my sheep. These requests are about discipleship in feeding, looking after and helping people. But Jesus asks Simon Peter the question of love because he knows that even the disciples had limitations on how much they could love and Jesus invited them to love him in their own way.
Jesus also told Simon Peter about the way that he would die which must have been tough to accept.“Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go”(John 21:1-19). This is true because as I grow older, I realise that sometimes I have to make hard decisions and they might lead me to places and situations that I do not want to be in. Carrying the crosses that we bear is difficult but Jesus bears it with us and no matter what happens, I know that it will give glory to God and the people – which is more important.
At the end, Jesus said,”Follow Me” to Simon Peter in the acceptance and obedience towards discipleship and of self. At times, I have thought of giving up and just running away to anywhere but to face the reality of things. Even though I am uncertain of my own future, I am not sure if I can make it in my studies; things are moving so fast, competition is high, with expectations even higher. But I know that there will always be a future in the loving embrace of Jesus. No matter what happens, Jesus will always be there, loving me as I love him. God Bless!
“I will praise you Lord, for you have rescued me”
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong