A Gospel Message Reflection


Today’s Gospel reading was John 21:1-14.

Consider the impact of what was being asked of the disciple fishermen Jesus spoke to.

Also consider that Jesus had established a message of Good News that the Kingdom of God was at hand… Right then…  Right there… And he challenged his followers with a message of transformation from a life framed by a culture of oppression, greed, and violence to one of compassion, inclusion, love, mercy, forgiveness, and social justice.

Ancient fishing boats of that day we’re all built in a common fashion that included a steering mechanism or rudder arm that was mounted on the RIGHT side of the boat.  In fact, the term for the right side of a vessel was starboard, a term that had in its origins the term for “steering”.  Steering was done from the right side of the boat.  This meant that the boat would pull to shore or the port and dock on the left side of the boat. Thus the left side became known as the port side.

Why is this relevant?

Because Jesus told these experienced fisherman to ignore all that they knew and to have faith in him.  To ignore the problems and impracticality of his suggestion and cast their nets on the right side of the boat.

Jesus was asking his followers to do what was not intuitive… What was contrary to common sense… Contrary to what they had always done.

When the disciples did as Jesus suggested they found their experience transformed and all were satisfied and pleased with the outcome.

This is what we are called to do today.  While we think we know that our way is right Jesus is telling us that we need to follow him and to something different… Something that is not intuitive and may not make common sense.  But we are being called to follow his way and experience the transformative change that will come to us and God’s kingdom on earth if we will only walk forward in faith!

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