Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, have you any fish?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was naked, and sprang into the sea.” (Jn 21: 4-7)

A few more thoughts on “courage.”

St. Peter, who recently thrice denied the Lord at His trial, literally jumps to greet Him. I believe this took courage, which has been defined as “not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than the fear.” And for Peter, that “something more important” was his love for the Lord. Peter does recognize his own “nakedness” (in more senses than one), as Adam did after his “fall” (Gen 3: 8), but unlike Adam, Peter “suits up and shows up” to face His Lord, rather than hide from Him.

“Courage,” which comes from the Latin “cor” or “heart,” is not always a virtue. It depends on what is in the heart; or what that “something more important” is, which compels one to overcome vulnerability and fear. For a Christian, it means the “courage of one’s convictions,” which is faith in God. I can have the courage to set things “right” in my relationships, when I trust first and foremost in Him, as the One with the primary authority to determine the “rightness” of my apologies, aspirations, desires, etc. So let me set things right with Him today, in my heart, that I may have the courage to set things right with others, expressing my apologies, aspirations or desires to them in His Spirit.

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