Now, imagine you are one of the apostles: you’ve fished all night, you’re soaking wet, and you’ve caught nothing. As you come to shore there is a stranger there, and he says, ‘Have you caught anything, friends?’ (21:5) Can you imagine
what you would say to that? My Italian temper would have gone right off the charts. I would have said, ‘I didn’t go fishing,’ or ‘It’s none of your business.’ I’m talking to a stranger after all; I don’t know it’s Jesus. Anything but the truth, never admit failure - that's the world today. But you know what Peter did? He said, ‘No, we didn’t catch a thing.’ Very simple. He had something we don’t have today. He had honesty and integrity.
The stranger says to them, ‘Throw the net out to starboard and you’ll find something.’ (21:6) This is totally unreasonable. God was asking them to do three ridiculous things: throw their net on the starboard side, in shallow water, at the wrong time of day. And they did it! They were simple men who were not afraid to do the ridiculous - they were dodos! What did they have to lose? They admitted their failure.
You see God is not looking for the successful and the competent who can do it on their own. He is looking for people like you and me.
If God were to say to you right now; ‘Throw your net on the starboard side of the boat,’ would you cling to it saying, ‘Oh Lord, the timing is not right’? Or would you say, ‘Lord, I just couldn’t do that, people will think I’m nuts’? You have to be willing, in your interior life, to throw your net on the starboard side every day of your life. There’s going to be a lot of shallow water and wrong timing. But you’ll have the thrill of knowing that he does it all.
There were so many fish in the apostles’ net that they could not pull them all in. At that point, John said, ‘It is the Lord (21:7) And here is a strange phenomenon: As soon as the net was full, as soon as they realised they had nothing to do with the catch except to be obedient - suddenly the fish were no longer important. It says that Peter (how I love Peter; I think he had to be an Italian Jew), Peter throws a cloak around himself, because he had practically nothing on, and leapt into the water to see Jesus. He didn’t care how he looked. He didn’t care what people would say. He wanted to get to Jesus and would use any means to get there.
Do you understand what God tries to do in your life sometimes? He is telling you to ‘Let go. Don’t hang on. I’ll take care of your future and your past. You let go.’ Throw your net and let him fill it. Feel the thrill that must have been in
the apostle’s hearts on that magnificent day. They had an empty net and they kept doing the ridiculous and God kept filling it. It’s only when we refuse to throw the net over that we catch nothing.
Mother Angelica’s Private & Pithy Lessons from the Scriptures