Redeeming the Time
An Orthodox Christian
Journal
St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Dallas Home Page St Nicholas the Wonderworker Go to the bottom of the page
Russian Orthodox Church
of St Nicholas
Dallas, Texas
Redeeming the Time
The Miraculous Draught of fish
October 9/22, 2000 Vol. 04.16


See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.


PRINTABLE Version



NEWS 3

TRAPEZA TIME

ADOPTION DINNER

SUNDAY'S GOSPEL - LUKE 5:1-11

THOUGHTS ON THIS SUNDAY'S GOSPEL

TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISH

THE HOLY APOSTLE JAMES

ANSWERS TO TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISH

News

Trapeza Time

In order to encourage people and facilitate cleaning up, we will attempt to have a definite time for trapeza. Trapeza will be from 12:00 noon, till 1:00 PM, after which, we are all encouraged to clean up together. Many hands make light labor!

Adoption Dinner

Fr Seraphim and family wish to invite you to share in our joy as we celebrate the upcoming adoption of our two children, Andrew and Oksanna. The first Sunday of November, Nov 5, we will have a Russian themed pot-luck dinner at our home. In lieu of trapeza, please come join us, along with many of our friends we have met along the way who have helped us with the adoption process. Please see Matushka Marina about what you can bring.

Sunday's Gospel - Luke 5:1-11


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 enclosed 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.

Thoughts on this Sunday's Gospel

This particular text may be found at:
http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/18sunape.htm

In the name of the father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen. Today is the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and also today we commemorate the conception of the Honorable Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John.1 The Gospel for this day is from the Evangelist Luke, and is about the miraculous draught of fish. This parable has much to teach us, if we read it carefully, and with Fathers as our guide, and with prayer.

What is the reason why the Lord did what he did? At the end of the story, we see that he says to the Apostle, or rather, the Apostle to be -- Simon Peter, that "from henceforth thou shalt catch men."2 This miracle was, as all of His other miracles were, a demonstration of His power, and His authority. "By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?"3, said the Pharisees in their stupidity, because they had seen many of the miracles, but they did not understand, but those who understood saw what authority He had. He was the One who could raise the dead, make the blind see, and the lame walk. He could still the waves, or provide abundantly in fish and bread for a multitude. He showed forth plainly His authority and his reliability by these miracles.

Our Lord is along the Lake of Gennesaret, which is by a fishing village. Simon Peter and many of the other apostles were fishermen. They had fished all night -- that was their typical method of fishing in those days, and they had caught nothing. Fishing was a very difficult craft back then, since the fish could easily escape from the nets, and the nets broke easily. The fishermen would spend all day mending their nets, and all night fishing, and in this case, they had caught nothing.

In the morning, Our Lord is along the shore, and He decides to get into a ship to thrust out a little from the land4, and feed the people there with His sweet words. There is an allegory here, in His being a little way off the shore, and teaching from a ship. The ship is the church and the Apostles and Christ were within the ship while He taught. Therefore His words, and subsequently, the Apostle's words, are the teaching of the church. His being a little way off the land had a practical reason -- if He had launched out deep into the waters, nobody would have been able to hear Him. The spiritual meaning is this - He launched out a "little" into the water because later the Apostles would launch out into the deep, and spread the gospel to the far ends of the earth. He Himself told them: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do,"5 and indeed the Church has done greater works than Christ did. Many men, women and children have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the efforts of those in the church. Many more miracles have occurred. Many more have been raised from the dead, and many more of the lame have walked than Christ even saw. They did greater works, and our Lord prepared them for their works, both by this teaching a little ways from the land, when they were yet babes, and not even yet His Apostles, and by His entire life, by showing them how to live, to act, to think, to react to things. He also taught them in privacy many things, so that they would know how to govern the church.

After He finishes his teaching, He says unto Simon: "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." 6 The nets are the gospel, that the Apostles would spread, then their Apostles, followed by their Apostles, and so on. The deep is where the world is floundering, where people are drowning and have no belief, or are in ignorance, or despair or despondency, or are addicted to sins. They do not know Christ, and their life is in an uproar and in turmoil as if they are tossed in waves, and are drowning, and our Lord says to go out into the deep to save them. We still go out into the deep to this day, with the very same nets of the Gospel, and in accordance to the teachings of the church.

Simon answers him and says: "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net."7 These are not words of disbelief, but they are words of simple obedience, from a man who was tired and had been up all night, and taken nothing. He mentions this almost parenthetically to our Lord, and the Apostle to be Peter's words teach us something else very important.

Are you ever tired, or despondent, or do your emotions ever play tricks with you? It doesn't matter. If you have faith, you live as a man with faith. Regardless of whether you are happy or sad, tired or not tired, you just obey. Even when things seem pointless, or hopeless, you know that they cannot in reality be pointless or hopeless, because you know Who it is who is telling you to do this thing. If the Lord tells you to do something, then you do it, because you know that He will bless it.

When the Apostles had fished all the previous night, they had done so without God's help. He was not in the boat with them, and he had not told them to go out and let down their nets for a draught. It was not that they were being disobedient, after all they were fishermen, and that was their craft, but when Christ blessed their endeavors, and told them to do something, and was with them in the midst of their efforts, then they had a miraculous catch.

And they enveloped a great multitude of fishes and their net brake. There is another time in the Gospels when a great miracle happened and a great multitude of fishes was caught, a hundred and fifty and three and yet was their net not broken.8 This is given in the Gospel of Saint John, and is one of the eleven matinal resurrection gospels, and it is full of deep meaning. The Apostles were babes when their net brake, because they had not absorbed all the teachings of Christ, and changed the way they thought and lived. Until our Lord taught them by His words and life, the Apostles were often at loggerheads and arguing with one another about who was the greatest and all sorts of things. Our Lord worked with them for over three years, and they were made ready. After He had resurrected Himself and came back from the dead, He then stood at the shore and said: "Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find."9, and they caught a hundred and fifty and three fishes, and yet the net was not broken. God's mercy is limitless. He can fill us abundantly, and we will never break, but there must be a period of preparation in our lives. There is effort involved, to become pliable, and to make us able to contain Him, and not break, as He fills us.

At this point in the Apostle's lives, they were not quite ready for all the abundance that God had prepared for them. At this point in our lives, we are not ready for the abundance that God gives to us - not yet. We have more living to do, more repenting to do, and more living in the context of the church to do. So the Apostles beckoned to their partners that were in another boat, that they should come and help them. This shows the cooperation in the church, and unity, to accomplish that which God intends for us. God fills us so abundantly that we will always have work to do in the church.

Simon Peter saw what had happened, and it touched him to the core. Peter was a sensitive man. He might have had hard and callused fisherman's hands, but he had the heart of a Saint. His heart was soft. He realized that he was standing in the presence of God, in this boat, with all these fish, and he said: "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord."10 Much later on, he would not say such a thing, nor would the other Apostles. They dined with Him, after they had caught the miraculous catch of a hundred and fifty and three fishes, because they had been prepared by living a virtuous life, as Christ had progressively revealed them how to live and how to believe while He walked the earth. We understand this dining with Christ to be an indication of extreme intimacy with Him, which the pure in heart will obtain. When a man recognizes Christ, he should fall down before him, but indeed, not to ask Him to depart, but to ask Him to come, to ask Him to fill. Our prayers are filled with these kinds of requests. Have mercy on me, enlighten me, vivify me, make me to see, make me to feel, make me to know.

Simon Peter was unworthy at that time, and well aware of his unworthiness. He had not been purified yet. How in the world does one become such that when we fall down before Christ, it is because of adoration, and desire for Him, and not because of fear and shame over our sins? A key is seen in the Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, which is also read on this day.

He says: "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully."11 In every page of the scripture, there is this dynamic, that our knowledge should make us act. If we do not act in accordance with the knowledge we have been given, then even that which we think we know will be taken away from us, and we won't know Christ, and He will not know us. The Christian life is a continual ascendancy, and continual changing of our lives. We also know in nature that if we sow only a few seeds, we will reap very little, and if we do not turn the ground carefully, and manure it, and water it, and weed it, and drive away predators from it, and hedge it round about, then we will not have a worthwhile harvest. This same principle in nature is also true in our human nature. If we do not hedge round about God's law in our hearts, and cleave to Him with every ounce of our being, then we will not have a harvest either, at the end of the world. Our Lord will tell us that he does not know us, because we have not become like Him.12 This is our task now, in the acquiring of the Holy Spirit to become like Him. It cannot be otherwise. If a man truly knows Christ, he will become like Him. It is impossible not to be.

Are you amazed at God's great work, here recounted? When you hear of this miracle, do you tremble, or is it just another story that you hear? Maybe you know these stories very well, and know that there so many times when lepers were healed, and that there were two times when multitudes were fed, one time over five thousand, with twelve baskets left over, and another time over four thousand with seven baskets left over. If that is all the knowledge we have concerning these miracles, then they have not touched us. Our Lord is showing us - He is the Lord. He is all in all. He is all we should desire. He is all that is real for us. There is no other meaning to our life, except to acquire Christ.

Man is made to look out, and up. See how our eyes are set. We can look up easily, unlike most of the other animals, and we can look out to those around us. If we sow sparingly, or uncheerfully, or not at all, then we are not acting in accordance with our nature, with how we were made. As we look up to see God, we will naturally look out to see those Whom He loves - His children. If we do not do this, then we are liars, and we do not tell the truth13, as the Apostle John said in his first epistle.

There is so much God wants to give us, and we cannot have this, unless we open ourselves. This is really quite easy! It is not a difficult task at all, if we have understanding. We react to what God gives us, that is all we need do. We do not need to be original or search for what to do, because He will show us, if we remain in the ship, that is, the church, and react to those murmurings of the Holy Spirit that are within our hearts. If we start to react to Him, and live as He wants us to live, then He fills us even more abundantly. This is a principle that is almost lost among most of the world that calls itself Christian. They don't understand that to become like Christ is to make ourselves able to have more knowledge of Christ - the very thing we say we want. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."14 He has prepared these things for us, and he prepares us for these things through a slow process. "We love him, because he first loved us."15, said the Apostle, and we react to His love, a little more today, and more tomorrow, and yet more the day after that.

Remember that Christianity is a moral life. Christianity is amendment of self, in keeping with how God reveals His commandments to us. Christianity is never static knowledge - ever. There is nothing God reveals that He does not want us to take action upon. There is nothing at all in the scriptures that we are not to react to.

God help us. God help us to build our virtues everyday, so that He can fill us, and we can attain salvation. Amen.

Ten Questions about the Miraculous Draught of Fish

QUESTION 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" (Luke 5:1-3)

How many of the Apostles were fishermen?
Name them.
Why did Christ teach them from the boat? There is a practical and spiritual reason.
Give the time frame for this incident (early, towards the middle or late in Jesus' ministry?)

QUESTION 2

What is another name for the lake of Gennesaret?

QUESTION 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." (Luke 5:3)

There is a practical and significant spiritual meaning in the Lord's instruction. Both are is related to the amount he told them to go offshore, and His later instructions. Explain.

QUESTION 4

"Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." (Luke 5:4)

What does the net represent? What is the "deep" (again, there is a literal and spiritual meaning)?

QUESTION 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." (Luke 5:5)

What does Peter's statement and his person represent spiritually? What does it show about the character of Peter?

QUESTION 6

We cannot leave these magnificent words of Peter without discussing what they teach us about the true nature of faith. What may we learn about faith from Peter's reaction?

QUESTION 7

"And they beckoned to 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." (Luke 5:7)

This is an image of what?

QUESTION 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..." (Luke 5:8)

Contrast Peter's response to another time when the Lord told them to let down their nets and the caught many fish. Why was it different?

QUESTION 9

Why did the nets brake? There is a spiritual meaning. Why did they not break in a second fishing incident (where is this story told)?

QUESTION 10

It is well worth comparing and contrasting the two fishing incidents involving the apostles. We have mentioned the second incident, given in St john's gospel, which makes reference to the earlier incident, in St Luke which we are examining now. Let us contemplate both miracles, and see how they differ and how they are the same, and what the differences have to teach us.

The Holy Apostle James

The son of Alphaeus and one of the twelve Great Apostles, he was the brother of the Apostle and Evangelist Matthew. He was a witness of the true words and miracles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and a witness of His Passion, Resurrection and Ascension. After the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, it fell to the lot of the Apostle James to preach Christ's Gospel in Eleutheropolis and the surrounding area, and then in Egypt, where he suffered for his Saviour. With great power both in word and act, James spread abroad the saving news of the incarnate Word of God, rooting out idol worship, driving demons out of men, healing all manner of sickness and disease in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. His labours and his zeal were crowned with great success. Many pagans came to belief in Christ the Lord, churches were founded and set in order and priests and bishops were made. He suffered in Egypt in the town of Ostracina, being crucified by the pagans. Thus this great and wonderful apostle of Christ went to the heavenly Kingdom, to reign forever with the King of glory.

Answers to Ten Questions about the Miraculous Draught of fish

ANSWER 1

Many of the Lord's apostles were fishermen. An account late in the Gospel of John names many of them:

"There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. " (John 21:2)

The "two others" included Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. Our list of "fishers of men" who were fishermen thus totals 7:

1. Simon Peter
2. Andrew, Simon Peter's brother
James, one of the "sons of Zebedee") John (one the "sons of Zebedee") Nathaniel Philip, the brother of Nathaniel Thomas, called Didymus

The Lord went into a boat to teach the people because the crowd was pressing upon Him, and it is very difficult to be heard in such conditions. By being in the boat, he forced all of the people to be in front of Him, and more orderly, so they could hear His mellifluous speech.

There is a spiritual reason why the Lord went into the boat. As so many of His soon to be disciples were fishermen, he was preparing for a great miracle which would firmly impress upon them what their ministry was to be. In His wisdom, he our Lord used the familiar (fish) to call his apostles to a spiritual work they did not as yet understand. This miracle happened very early in Jesus' ministry, as He was assembling His apostles.

"For in His condescension to men, He called the wise men by a star, the fishermen by their art of fishing. " (St John Chrysostom)

ANSWER 2

"The lake of Gennesaret is said to be the same as the sea of Galilee or the sea of Tiberias; but it is called the sea of Galilee from the adjacent province, the sea of Tiberias from a neighboring city. Gennesaret, however, is the name given it from the nature of the lake itself, (which is thought from its crossing waves to raise a breeze upon itself,) being the Greek expression for "making a breeze to itself." For the water is not steady like that of a lake, but constantly agitated by the breezes blowing over it. It is sweet to the taste, and wholesome to drink. In the Hebrew tongue, any extent of water, whether it be sweet or salt, is called a sea." (Venerable Bede)

ANSWER 3

In the morning, Our Lord is along the shore, and He decides to get into a ship to thrust out a little from the land, and feed the people there with His sweet words. There is an allegory here, in His being a little way off the shore, and teaching from a ship. The ship is the church and the Apostles and Christ were within the ship while He taught. Therefore His words, and subsequently, the Apostle's words, are the teaching of the church. His being a little way off the land had a practical reason -- if He had launched out deep into the waters, nobody would have been able to hear Him. The spiritual meaning is this - He launched out a "little" into the water because later the Apostles would launch out into the deep, and spread the gospel to the far ends of the earth.

He Himself told them: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do," (John 14:12) and indeed the Church has done greater works than Christ did. Many men, women and children have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the efforts of those in the church. Many more miracles have occurred. Many more have been raised from the dead, and many more of the lame have walked than Christ even saw. They did greater works, and our Lord prepared them for their works, both by this teaching a little ways from the land, when they were yet babes, and not even yet His Apostles, and by His entire life, by showing them how to live, to act, to think, to react to things. He also taught them in privacy many things, so that they would know how to govern the church.

ANSWER 4

The nets are the gospel, that the Apostles would spread, then their Apostles, followed by their Apostles, and so on. The deep is where the world is floundering, where people are drowning and have no belief, or are in ignorance, or despair or despondency, or are addicted to sins. They do not know Christ, and their life is in an uproar and in turmoil as if they are tossed in waves, and are drowning, and our Lord says to go out into the deep to save them. We still go out into the deep to this day, with the very same nets of the Gospel, and in accordance to the teachings of the church.

ANSWER 5

The seed of great faith is seen in Peter's simple and forthright words. He had fished all night and was tired, and yet, he in simplicity obeys the Lord. His statement also has a spiritual meaning:

"Peter represents the teachers of the law. For the teachers of the law also toiled the whole night before Christ came (the time before Christ's sojourning on earth was indeed night) and took in nothing. But when Christ came, and it became day, the teachers of the law were replaced by the apostles who at His word, that is, at His command, let down the net of the Gospel in which they caught so great a number of men that the apostles could not haul in the catch by themselves. " (Blessed Theophylact, Commentary on Luke 5:1-11)

ANSWER 6

Simon answered Christ and says: "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net." These are not words of disbelief, but they are words of simple obedience, from a man who was tired and had been up all night, and taken nothing. He mentions this almost parenthetically to our Lord, and the Peter's words teach us something else very important. Are you ever tired, or despondent, or do your emotions ever play tricks with you? It doesn't matter. If you have faith, you live as a man with faith. Regardless of whether you are happy or sad, tired or not tired, you just obey. Even when things seem pointless, or hopeless, you know that they cannot in reality be pointless or hopeless, because you know Who it is who is telling you to do this thing. If the Lord tells you to do something, then you do it, because you know that He will bless it. When the Apostles had fished all the previous night, they had done so without God's help. He was not in the boat with them, and he had not told them to go out and let down their nets for a draught. It was not that they were being disobedient, after all they were fishermen, and that was their craft, but when Christ blessed their endeavors, and told them to do something, and was with them in the midst of their efforts, then they had a miraculous catch.

ANSWER 7

The cooperation of the two ships is an image of the church.

"... Peter beckons to his companions to help them. For many follow the labors of the Apostles, and first those who brought out the writings of the Gospels, next to whom are the other heads and shepherds of the Gospel, and those skilled in the teaching of the truth." (St Cyril of Jerusalem)

ANSWER 8

Simon Peter saw what had happened, and it touched him to the core. Peter was a sensitive man. He might have had hard and callused fisherman's hands, but he had the heart of a Saint. His heart was soft. He realized that he was standing in the presence of God, in this boat, with all these fish, and he said: "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord." Much later on, he would not say such a thing, nor would the other Apostles. They dined with Him, after they had caught the miraculous catch of a hundred and fifty and three fishes, because they had been prepared by living a virtuous life, as Christ had progressively revealed them how to live and how to believe while He walked the earth. We understand this dining with Christ to be an indication of extreme intimacy with Him, which the pure in heart will obtain. When a man recognizes Christ, he should fall down before him, but indeed, not to ask Him to depart, but to ask Him to come, to ask Him to fill. Our prayers are filled with these kinds of requests: "Have mercy on me, enlighten me, vivify me, make me to see, make me to feel, make me to know." Simon Peter was unworthy at that time, and well aware of his unworthiness. He had not been purified yet.

ANSWER 9

And they enveloped a great multitude of fishes and their net brake. There is another time in the Gospels when a great miracle happened and a great multitude of fishes was caught, a hundred and fifty and three and yet was their net not broken. This is given in the Gospel of Saint John, and is one of the eleven matinal resurrection gospels, and it is full of deep meaning. The Apostles were babes when their net brake, because they had not absorbed all the teachings of Christ, and changed the way they thought and lived. Until our Lord taught them by His words and life, the Apostles were often at loggerheads and arguing with one another about who was the greatest and all sorts of things. Our Lord worked with them for over three years, and they were made ready. After He had resurrected Himself and came back from the dead, He then stood at the shore and said: "Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.", and they caught a hundred and fifty and three fishes, and yet the net was not broken. God's mercy is limitless. He can fill us abundantly, and we will never break, but there must be a period of preparation in our lives. There is effort involved, to become pliable, and to make us able to contain Him, and not break, as He fills us.

At this point in the Apostle's lives, they were not quite ready for all the abundance that God had prepared for them. At this point in our lives, we are not ready for the abundance that God gives to us - not yet. We have more living to do, more repenting to do, and more living in the context of the church to do. So the Apostles beckoned to their partners that were in another boat, that they should come and help them. This shows the cooperation in the church, and unity, to accomplish that which God intends for us. God fills us so abundantly that we will always have work to do in the church.

ANSWER 10

Some time during our Lord's forty days on earth after the resurrection, he appeared to seven of the disciples, who were fishing. This was an event similar to the time He called some of them to be his disciples, but with important differences, made possible by the passage of His three years of careful ministry to them. the first time the Lord told the apostles to "let down their nets" is chronicles in Luke 5:1-13. More than three years later, the risen Lord gives the same instruction, as St. John records (John 21:1:25, comprising the 10th and 11th matins resurrection gospels).

In the first case, our Lord only tells them to let down their nets, but to the tested apostles he tells them to let them down on the right side, and they obediently do so, as before, and are rewarded with a staggering catch of fish, which St John carefully mentions as one hundred fifty three. He marvels that there were so many, and yet the net was not broken. When the apostles were as yet uninitiated, and unlearned in spiritual things, the catch of fish broke their nets, and even when they had brought another ship to help with catch of fish, their boats began to sink. After their education and proving, their nets hold this great catch of fish, and one boat is able to contain it, without sinking. These fishers of fish were truly made worthy and able to be great fishers of men, and their net, that is the Gospel and the Christian way of life, would never break again, but will hold all those who come to the church.

In the previous instance, Peter was filled with fear, even asking the Lord to depart from him, as the as yet uninitiated apostle felt the full weight of his sins in the presence of the God-man. In this latter case, the exuberant Peter cannot wait to be beside his Lord, and throws on his fishers cloak, and casts himself into the sea. He who formerly had fear because of his sins now has confidence, because He knows the Lord.

The first great catch of fish was too much for one ship, so another ship was pressed into service, although even it proved inadequate to contain the catch of fish. In this second ship is shown in a mystery of the organization of the church, with it's bishops who are equal brothers, and rightly divide the word of truth. In the latter case, only one ship, with the seven Apostles, was able to fulfill the word of the Lord, and land all the fish. Here we see in an even more powerful way the church, and the infinite resources those within it have to fulfill the commandments, and contain all the fish, that is, souls, who are caught in the nets of the gospel.

"Redeeming the Time" is an almost weekly Journal of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Dallas Texas. Distribute this text if you wish, but only if attribution and all contact information are included. I would appreciate being contacted if any large-scale use of this text is desired. All unsigned or unattributed portions (c) 2000 Fr Seraphim Holland. All rights reserved
Address: 2102 Summit, McKinney TX 75071 Phone: 972 529-2754
24 hour Mobile phone with voice mail: 214 336-3464 Email: seraphim@orthodox.net

Some of the Items available on the St Nicholas Web Page:
All back issues of Redeeming The Time
http://www.orthodox.net/redeeming
Thoughts on the Sunday Gospels
http://www.orthodox.net/sermons
Questions & Answers about Orthodoxy
* A frequently growing list of over 40 sets of 10 questions with answers about the Scriptures, Orthodox Doctrines, feast days, liturgics, etc.
http://www.orthodox.net/questions
Complete ROCOR Parish directory
http://www.orthodox.net/directory

1 This homily was transcribed from one given On September 6, 1996 according to the church calendar, being the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and the day appointed for the commemoration of Conception of the Holy, Forerunner of God, the Baptist John. The Sunday Gospel is: Luke 5:1-11. There are some stylistic changes and minor corrections made and several footnotes have been added, but otherwise, it is essentially in a colloquial, "spoken" style. It is hoped that something in these words will help and edify the reader, but a sermon read from a page cannot enlighten a soul as much as attendance and reverent worship at the Vigil service, which prepares the soul for the Holy Liturgy, and the hearing of the scriptures and the preaching of them in the context of the Holy Divine Liturgy. In such circumstances the soul is enlightened much more than when words are read on a page.
2 Matthew 5:10
3 Matthew 21:23
4 Matthew 5:3
5 John 14:12
6 Matthew 5:4
7 Matthew 5:5
8 John 21:11
9 John 21:6
10 Matthew 5:8
11 2 Corinthians 9:6
12 Cf. Matthew 25:41-46
13 1 John 2:4
14 1 Corinthians 2:9
15 1 John 4:19

St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Dallas Home Page Icon of St Nicholas Go to the top of the page

All rights reserved. Please use this Orthodox Christian material in any way that is edifying to your soul, and copy it for personal use if you so desire. We ask that you contact St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church if you wish to distribute it in any way.

Russian Orthodox Church
of St Nicholas
Dallas, Texas
Phone: 972 529-2754
Priest Seraphim Holland
nicholas@orthodox.net
Snail Mail: 2102 Summit, McKinney TX 75071, USA