And so Jesus follows them and tries again to help them understand to what it is that he has sent them…to guide them on their way. Jesus tells Peter explicitly that he is to shepherd Jesus’ flock…and for each time he denied he knew Jesus, Jesus asks him if he loves him. And Peter accepts this new role but with the knowledge that it will ultimately take him to a similar death as Jesus, who is asking Peter to take up “his” cross and follow him.
The disciples are often presented as not fully understanding Jesus’ message and to what it is that Christ is calling them…but Jesus is patient and calls them again and again…just as Christ calls us. Over and over again, no matter how many times we find our nets empty and think all the fish are gone, Jesus comes to us and tells us to “try the other side”. Regardless of how many times we deny Jesus or refuse to throw our nets on the other side, Jesus is patient and will lovingly ask us again….with God there is always another chance! Where and for what is God calling me to cast my nets?