Pope at Regina Coeli: When Our Nets are Empty, Put out to Sea Again

At the Regina Coeli, the Pope commented on the Gospel in which St. Peter was fishing and was sought by the Risen Jesus.

Newsroom (May 6, 2022, 2:15 PM, Gaudium Press) At Wednesday’s Regina Coeli prayer in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope commented on the day’s Gospel recounting the appearance of the Risen Jesus to Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, and the sons of Zebedee, who had gone fishing on Lake Tiberias or Sea of Galilee, north of Jerusalem.

“It was the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after rising from the dead,” recounts the Gospel of St. John. It is in this passage of the Gospel that the Lord tells St. Peter – who had gone back to fishing – to feed his lambs and shepherd his sheep, that is, to resume the gigantic vocation to which he was called.

The apostles were demoralized, in a state of “weariness, disillusionment,” something that can happen to us, a situation where “out of tiredness, disappointment, perhaps out of laziness, we forget the Lord and neglect the great choices we have made, to settle for something else.”

Keeping the good choices of life, in the love of Jesus

For example, “not dedicating time to talking together in the family, preferring personal pastimes; we forget prayer, letting ourselves be wrapped up in our own needs; we neglect charity, with the excuse of daily urgencies. But, in doing so, we find ourselves disappointed: it is that very disappointment that Peter felt, with the nets empty, like him.”

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Jesus calls to cast the nets again

Brothers and sisters, when our nets are empty in life, it is not the time to feel sorry for ourselves, to take our minds off things, to return to old pastimes. It is time to begin again with Jesus, it is time to find the courage to begin again, it is time to put out to sea again with Jesus, the Pope stressed.

If “today I feel as if I have gone backwards…” – Francis added – “always set out again with Jesus, start again, put out into the deep! He is waiting for you. And he is thinking only of you, me, each one of us.”

When St. Peter realizes that the Lord has returned, he dives into the water and decides to go to meet him: “It is a gesture of love, because love goes beyond usefulness, convenience or duty; love generates wonder, it inspires creative, freely-given zeal. In this way, while John, the youngest, recognizes the Lord, it is Peter, who is older, who dives towards him. In that dive is all the new-found enthusiasm of Simon Peter.”

Today the Risen Christ invites us to a new impetus — everyone, each one of us — he invites us to dive into the good without fear of losing something, without calculating too much, without waiting for others to begin. Why? Do not wait for others, because in order to go towards Jesus, we need to go out on a limb. We need to go out on a limb with courage, resume, but to resume by going out on a limb, taking risks. Let us ask ourselves: am I capable of an outburst of generosity, or do I restrain the impulses of my heart and close myself off in routine or in fear?

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“Jesus asks Peter, three times, the question: “Do you love me?” (vv. 15-16). The Risen Lord asks us too today: Do you love me? Because at Easter, Jesus wants our hearts to rise too; because faith is not a question of knowledge, but of love. Do you love me? Jesus asks you, me, us, who have empty nets and are often afraid to start again; to you, me and all of us who do not have the courage to dive in and have perhaps lost our momentum. Do you love me? Jesus asks. (…) And what about us, do we want to love Jesus?,” he concluded.

With information from Vatican News.

Compiled by Zephania Gangl

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