It was the end of August. In January, I had lost my job and from then I was still seeking new employment. Unfortunately, to no avail. Time passed very quickly and, despite my numerous efforts, I was still unemployed.
One day I received a bill for a sum that I was unable to settle for a long time due to lack of funds. After a short time a reminder was sent. In early August, I received a final demand for payment notifying me that if it is not paid within 7 days, the amount would be subject to judicial enforcement.
I began to pray more earnestly than before asking for a job. I prayed with the Bible, and among others I frequently read and pondered the following fragment of the Gospel (John 21, 1-14), which I clung to like a last resort:
“After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead” (John 21, 1-14)
Jesus, your meeting with the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias after the Resurrection speaks of God’s unique and boundless love for man. In my difficult situation, this assures me of your fatherly care. Every day I Imagine that you, Jesus Christ, stand before me and ask:
“Child, do you have anything to eat?”
“Yes, Lord, I do,” I answer or say, “I still have a little but I’m running out”, or, “No, I have nothing.”
The question you ask me is constantly touching and makes a big impression on me. I realize that you care for me in every moment of my life, standing before me and asking this question. You don’t only want to pursue a dialog with me, but you also want me to indicate my needs, as you are a good God and Father in Christ and want to meet them.
In this Gospel passage the disciples did not cry out to you or pray for a successful catch. They are silent, depressed, tired and hungry. It is touching that you, Jesus, take the initiative first and that’s very moving. You answer their prayers before they are even spoken. You come and stand before them unrecognized. You come with good advice on what to do. It depends only on whether they want to hear your voice, follow your advice and put it into practice. So little is needed- just hear your voice.
Jesus, you know what we need even before we ask. I also hope that you show me where to cast my net to make a good catch, so I can get through this difficult situation.
I believe that you still behave in the same way as you had in the past when you were in human form on Earth. I am sure that you can perform the same miracle in my life, as the one your students saw. And so I wait for you to come in your grace. Just let me hear your voice! Amen.
One day in August I went out before noon to settle something important. I left the apartment, walked toward the elevator and saw Mrs. Irena moving quickly in my direction as she got out. I met her at the beginning of my stay in the capital. She worked as a chief accountant in the first company I worked for. I could always count on her, often I received assistance from her when I was in need and our friendship continues to this day.
“Listen,” Irena started, “I just saw an old friend who is a recently retired elementary school principal. I ask him if by chance his school isn’t looking for an English teacher. I thought that since you know English, you could try to teach it in school.
We walked slowly toward the elevator and took it to the ground floor. Mrs. Irena continued:
“My friend gave me the new director’s phone number, and I called her already. They are urgently looking for an English teacher. Here is her number,” she said, taking a piece of paper out of her purse. “She asks that you get in touch with her tomorrow.”
listened in silence as Mrs. Irena tried to convince me, speaking of
the benefits of working in a school, “You will have a steady job,
insurance and enough income to meet your needs.”
I had to admit she was right, despite me never having considered the profession of a teacher before. After we said goodbye, I considered all that Mrs. Irena said.
There is no point being picky and weighing the pros and cons. I have to take any job, because in the end you have to start somewhere, I told myself.
I called the number the following day ad the principal offered to meet with me the same day. She turned out to be a pleasant and friendly person and was willing to hire me right away. They just needed to get the ok from the Board of Education before doing so, but as she claimed, this would be no problem. I was asked to contact her after a few days. When our next meeting took place she spread her hands helplessly and said, “I’m very sorry but the trustees do not consent to your employment. You do not have professional training to work with children.”
After leaving the school building I headed directly to Mrs. Irena’s, who lived directly across the street. “This is terrible,” she said feeling pity for me, “so much time looking for work and again nothing. And I was so hopeful would do well in the school. After all, it seemed as though everything was on the right track,”
”Mrs. Irena, do not worry. I believe that God knows what he is doing. He has everything and I’m sure will give me a job soon,” I replied.
“In that case, I wish that that happens,” she said.
In this way, another attempt to find work failed. So I began to wonder, what was the point of this event.
“God, what are you trying to tell me?,” I asked the same day in prayer.
Soon after the following thought came to my mind; although I could not teach as a full-time teacher, perhaps I could conduct paid language courses for children?
I quickly contacted the principal and presented her with my proposal. It turned out that there would be no problems with me giving paid English lessons in her school. She willingly offered me help in organizing the courses and presented some interesting ideas. A few days later, Monday, September 3rd, the new school year started and a wonderful opportunity presented itself then to meet with parents and offer English and German group courses.
would be happy if even a few sign up, I sighed looking at a large
crowd of children and parents walking through the school halls on the
first day of the new school year.
That day I gave information mainly to interested parents. The next day, ten children were enrolled and on the 25th of September, the list had 25 names. More new names were added over the course of the following days and finally over 60 children has registered!
The interest in my offer was therefore quite significant. Throughout the registration period, I realized that I should set up a company to be able to teach unencumbered.
So you can say that I caught over 60 fish in my net. They were the first customers of the company I started. Other events relating to this are presented in the story “Seven Days.”