Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
Yesterday we read about how Peter the apostle had a trial of identity during Jesus’s own trial, and how he ultimately found himself falling short, unwilling to be the disciple he had thought he would be. The passages for today are taken shortly after the death the Savior. Here Peter and a few other disciples decide to go out fishing, returning to the pattern of life they have always known. It is hard to blame Peter. He had been tested and found wanting, perhaps he didn’t feel worthy of his calling anymore.
In this moment Jesus comes and, as at the first time, calls Peter back to the work. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland paraphrased in his October 2012 address entitled The First Great Commandment:
Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs.
I can definitely sympathize with Peter. I too have felt ashamed of going astray, and have felt that the call to become no longer applied. I have returned back to what I was comfortable with, wanting to identify myself with something lesser, something that doesn’t require faith.
But like Peter, I have found the Savior doesn’t give up on me, even if I have. He ever calls me to try again, to become the child of God he knows I truly am.