The first reading today tells of the opposition the apostles encountered from the Jewish authorities. This was not a surprise and had been predicted by Jesus. The apostles refused to be silenced; always the central point of their witness is the resurrection of Jesus. Far from being demoralised , they were glad to suffer for the sake of Jesus.
The Gospel reading with the large catch of fish shows how successful the disciples can be with Jesus’ help and the meal that follows symbolises the Eucharistic meal in which Jesus is present among them and feeds them. Peter, who three times denied his Master, is now given three chances to profess his love and is then given a mandate to care for the Lord’s flock.
Jesus did not give up on Peter, he didn’t write him off, he didn’t even demote him and there were no recriminations. Jesus knew that there was another side to Peter apart from the weakness. In giving authority to the man who had denied him, Jesus wanted to show that the he was establishing his church, not on human strength, but on his own love & faithfulness.
Sometimes we lose interest in people, even become blind to their strengths when we discover their limitations. During his passion, Jesus discovered the limitations of Peter, but he didn’t write him off and continued to believe in him. Jesus was proved right, his trust wasn’t misplaced.
Like Peter, we are all weak human beings, inconstant in our beliefs. We need someone who understands our weaknesses and realises that it may take time for us to overcome them. Someone who does not write us off because we don’t produce the goods at once.