After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.
When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
I find Peter’s haste to reach Jesus in today’s Gospel incredibly endearing. It seems innocent—like the squeals of a child as their parent comes home from work, or the energetic barks of a puppy as their owner’s car comes around the corner. The disciples’ boat was merely 100 yards from the shore but Peter couldn’t wait that long. He jumps into the water, fully clothed, and rushes toward Jesus. But, as we read today’s gospel, we know Peter is far from innocent. It was just one week ago that he denied Jesus three times. Yet doesn’t that make his haste all the more endearing? Peter knows he failed but out of that his haste emerges. It’s a paradox: we don’t understand the beauty of God’s forgiveness and grace until we are desperate for it. But Jesus always waits for us. May we, too, jump in the water with haste.
—Sarah Otto received her M.Div from Boston College. She currently serves as director of the Newman Catholic Center in Chico, CA.
Lord, I’m not turning back.
All that I have I now give to you.
Ask me whatever;
I never want to betray you.
—Carlo Maria Martini, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!