Fr. Kurian KollapallilWhen life seems to be a challenge that doesn’t offer any prospects, and everyday becomes a dull day, your work and daily life seems to be a struggle, Problems are insurmountable and when everything looks bleak, what is your attitude?  Are you tempted to give way to depression and disappointment?   Peter in the gospel was failing and frustrated; at that point, in to his life and into his world Jesus enters with a word of hope; Peter hears that word and responds to it and he discovers that his life bears fruit.

“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1Cor.1:20)

Simon Peter and his friends, worked hard with the hope of having a great catch of fish, but they were disappointed. All their toil seemed to be fruitless.  They were the expert fishermen but that day they were unlucky. Disappointed and exhausted they came to the shore, cleaned their nets and put it for drying. Then Jesus came to the shore got in to the boat of Peter and taught the people. Then He told Peter to get in to the boat and get ready for a great catch. Peter and His friends would have laughed at the suggestion of Jesus. It was not practical at all.  Jesus knew carpentry well but the fishing trade was not his. On the other hand, Peter was probably from a long line of fisherman.  He knew his trade well and he knew the lake and each part of it and all the signs and appropriate time of fishing. Peter was certain that Jesus the rabbi from Nazareth knew about preaching and teaching and storytelling but he knew absolutely nothing about catching fish. The impractical suggestion of going for fishing in the morning hours would have made Peter and friends to laugh.  Peter told Jesus: “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Faith calls for a personal trust.

Peter and friends goes a step deeper in their faith journey. Like anyone else they believed the words of Jesus but trying to do something contrary to their natural reasoning and experience demanded a deeper trust in the person. It may seem to be a blind faith but their  trust in Jesus never fails (God never fails -Zephaniah 3:5).A real faith not only accepts the content of God’s message but involves a total surrender of one ’s self and all one has and is into God’s hands. A complete letting go.

Trust in Jesus becomes an experience and leads to apostleship

The result was overwhelming and totally beyond their expectations; their nets could hardly hold the catch. It was their first test of faith in Jesus. After the sensational catch of fish, Peter is absolutely overwhelmed by what has happened. He realizes that Jesus is God himself. All his doubts and arrogance gives way to great surprise and he is cognizant of his nothingness and unworthiness. And he said: “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man.” It is, in fact, a true sign of an experience with God.

To be a Christian is first and foremost is to have an experience of Christ. The same call comes to us to place our trust in Jesus. Often when we begin to believe and do everything right, we may face backlashes because it is the testing period in which still the devil continues to test our fidelity in Jesus.  Until when we reach the level of total and unconditional trust in the Way of Jesus, faith will remain shallow and a faith experience will become impossible.

Like Peter and Andrew, James and John, we sometime feel discouraged and may become depressed or we try hard without even finding time to rest. All our efforts, earnings, hard works and future plans may stumble with a sickness and with an unexpected event. When all our labor seems to be in vain, do we have the patience to listen to the wisdom of God, to obey His word and to place our trust in Jesus? Jesus never fails and nothing is impossible for Him.


“Our intellect is ordinarily full of ideas, opinions and considerations suggested by self-love. This is the root of many conflicts within the soul, putting before us all sorts of reasons dictated by human prudence to justify our pretensions. People who make use of this false prudence, instead of enlightening their intellect, obscure it. They reject advice given to them and let those reasons prevail in their minds which support their own opinions, even wrong ones. Make use of the virtue of prudence because it is good, but make good use of it.” St. Francis de Sales