The Miraculous catch of fish. The greatest miracle was not the fish! 18th Sunday 2009 Audio Homily

Miraulous catch of fish, National Gallery, London


Like all of Jesus Christ’s miracles and parables, this story can be understood on many levels. It obviously demonstrates dogmas about the God-man, Jesus Christ, and also has beautiful mystical symbolism concerning the Jews, apostles and the church, but it’s most important message is how we should live. The example of Peter and the others with him demonstrates a paradigm that should apply to EVERYTHING in our life. We must hear (and obey), be able to see the results (and understand) and then act upon this understanding.

Luke 5:1-11 1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

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1 comment

  1. I thought of 2 different ways we may follow, when God touches our heart & we admit that we are unworthy, sinful, when we feel repentance. But it is actually not repentance as it should be…Repentance is a long way, often a life-long, and it necessary presupposes correction, perfection in Christ.

    So we may feel pangs of remorse, weep over what we have done, declare we are the worst sinners, and…continue to stay like this doing nothing to change anything about it. And we’ll remain unhappy & sinful.We may just say:
    “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man”. And repeat to anyone we meet how sinful, stupid & bad we are, losing ourselves in verbiage…which will be a false humility if we don’t reinforce our words with real steps to change for the better.

    The other way is to leave everything & follow Christ. And it means repentance God calls us for – to inherit His Kingdom.
    “And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him”. What I like here also is succession of these actions, and it always made me wonder how right & wise it is, and that it’s impossible to be vice versa! They had accomplished what they had to do, carefully & attentively completed their duty. Then they left everything – very quickly, without hesitation!, and only then they follow Christ. It’s impossible to follow Him, having heavy luggage, impossible to take with us to Heaven our wordly interests & burdens, impossible to be with Christ truly without self-denial…

    It requires us courage & much self-denial to admit that we are sinners, but that we are not trash, meaningless creatures, unable to do anything well & thus shrinking our responsibilities under this pretext…but we are Cod’s children, called by Him to be the salt of the world, to carry His light to people. I remember I read that one pious priest, schema-archimandrite Ioann (Maslov) said to his spiritual daughter: “be a burning candle, so that those who are cold could warm up near you”.

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