In today’s Gospel, we find the Apostles dejected and
discouraged following the death of our Lord. Poor Peter
decides to throw in the towel on the whole disciple thing and
go back to his old way of life, declaring, “I’m going fishing.”
Upon hearing this, the other disciples follow him.
How easy it is for all of us to backslide on changes we have
made in our lives, especially when it comes to our spiritual
lives. But look how Jesus treats the disciples during their
“backslide.” He is right there with them in the midst of it,
already waiting for them on the shore when they come back
from their unsuccessful return to the fishing business (after
abandoning their mission as disciples). Our Lord greets them
tenderly, gives them some fishing pointers, and then
prepares their breakfast. How gracious He is to them!
He is just as gracious today. When we find ourselves “out
at sea” — discouraged by our failures or for squandering the
gifts God has given us, or simply by a lack of progress in our
faith life, Jesus is with us! He is calling to us from the shore to
come back to Him without shame or embarrassment, but
with hope-filled trust in His steadfast love. He never tires of
offering “do-overs” if we just keep returning to Him.
This constant process of turning back to the Lord, of
reevaluating our goals and priorities as we aim for Heaven, is
the essence of a stewardship way of life. Let us take heart as
we continue our journey today, secure in the knowledge that
Jesus is beside us every step of the way.