An imperfect lover
It is night. Peter takes the lead, the others follow him on his word, but they follow an empty word, an empty undertaking; the fishing is totally fruitless. When dawn rises, Jesus comes, indeed, when Jesus comes, the night melts into the sun. The first of His inspirations, as the Risen One, is to teach his followers to learn how to feel hungry, to make it evident that without him fishing is fruitless, the table of life is without food, and the table of spirituality is without celebration. We are still hungry and our heart is cold with disappointment.
Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something, says the master. By indicating the right side of the boat He reveals a new, unexpected, unprecedented, unpredictable way to do things: the way of the Holy Spirit Paraclete. There are no fish on Peter’s word, but on the Word of Jesus the Lord; the nets are not filled on Peter’s initiative but on that of Jesus the Lord. Peter is not even the first to recognize the Lord on the shore, but without thinking he is the first to jump into the sea and to swim to Him, just as he is, half naked, poor, doubtful, sad, yet full of warmth inside and vibrant as an imperfect lover. He is the one who climbs back into the boat and with all his strength drags the overflowing net to shore. Peter’s authority comes from the Holy Spirit and from that dive into the water toward Jesus, the Jesus he was unable to recognize, yet the person he was eager to embrace.
In this difficult, long-term, awesome task of carrying humanity to the banks of God’s kingdom, Peter will not always be the first to recognize the Lord and the newness of the Spirit, but He will always be ready to dive into the sea to go towards the Lord and to fish sons of God throughout history and in every corner of the earth. And the net of the church will never ever tear. It is with this church, with this humanity so flawed yet so in love, that Jesus wants to celebrate with joy and exultation.