April 22, 2022

So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore…

Why Peter and other disciples decided to go back to fishing is nowhere explained. Were they discouraged after the death of Jesus? They had seen Jesus after Easter, it seems, so we are left to reflect on this passage and draw whatever we can from it. Interestingly, we are told that they caught nothing. These professional fishermen, after fishing all night, caught nothing. Jesus had to show them how to do it.

The simple phrase “they caught nothing” is profoundly evocative. It calls to mind all the occasions when we work extremely hard over something and achieve nothing. We think we can rely on our skill and need no outside help. To the credit of the disciples, despite their exasperation, they were willing to act on the advice of a complete stranger, even though this must have been a severe blow to their pride. What do we think we can accomplish without the help of the Lord?

Every Mass we celebrate should remind us that God has graced us with his blessings in his Son. We can accomplish nothing of value without his help. There is a fine sense of Jesus and the disciples being co-workers in this gospel story. The same must be true for us as well. No doubt the disciples forgot their tiredness, their upset about the long hours wasted catching nothing and marveled at the transformation that had taken place —all because of the risen Jesus in their midst. That is the example given us.

Let Us Pray:

O loving Lord, be with me always in all that I do. May I rely solely on your grace in all I try to do for your kingdom.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.