I have never met an experienced fisherman who can’t tell you when and where the fish are biting. Simon Peter and His companions were experienced fisherman. They were professional fisherman! In today’s Gospel story they had been out on the Sea of Tiberias all night and they had caught nothing. They had, in spite of their expertise, failed in the very task at which they were most skilled. It was after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

We are all confident and self-satisfied, from time to time, about our way of living. We sometimes believe that we know what is best for ourselves and for our families and friends. Yet, sometimes our best made plans don’t work out for us.

In today’s Gospel story those very experienced fishermen who thought they knew what was best, encountered a stranger standing on the sea shore. They didn’t realise that it was Jesus, the Risen Lord. He tells them to throw their nets out on the other side of their boat. How dare a stranger tell these experienced fishermen how to do their job. Nevertheless, they do what he suggests and they catch one hundred and fifty–three large fish. It is only then that they recognise that this stranger on the sea shore is the Risen Lord, Jesus.

There is a simple message for us all in this Gospel story. When our life-plans or our “good ideas” don’t work out for us, be aware that there could be a stranger standing on the “sea shore” of our lives too. The stranger is the Risen Lord and he will sometimes invite us, as he invited the apostles, to throw our nets out on the “other side” – to do things differently! Sometimes, if we heed the Lord of Life, we will be amazed by the grace we receive. As the ancient saying goes – “Faith can move mountains”!


Rev Fr Tom Stevens