Sunday, June 8, 2008

4th week after Pentecost — Draught of Fishes

Rafaël. Miraculous Draught of Fishes. 1515. London.
AND it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And going into one of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him. — Luke v. 1-11.
Jesus and the boys are found on the Sea of Tiberias, Sea of Galilee, Lake
Genesareth, often. Peter, his brother Andrew, and the brothers John and James are in the fishing business. Jesus changes their catch. People are to be gathered in as were fish, in the past. Now, the picture tells us where in the Gospels we are. Supra, Jesus is in Peter's barque, with the miraculous draught of fish; we are in Luke's Gospel. The draught is the drawing in, the pulling along. If Jesus is on the shore, it is after the Resurrection; we are in John's Gospel. Jesus is the highlight, and not the fish. If everyone is on the shore, or Peter and Andrew are leaving the boat to go, to Jesus, on the shore; then the apostles are being called. If Jesus is asleep on the boat, a storm is coming. And there are other pictures, where Jesus or Peter are walking on the water. This one is not that. Then there is the fish that has a coin in it, which, pays the tax of both Peter and Jesus.

In a fine little book, In Peter's Footsteps, Father Pennington, makes the observation, that, the boys, only, seem to catch fish, when Jesus is about. Peter is called by Jesus to be a disciple, and he is the chief of them, that, call upon us to be disciples.

There, at least, among the Slavs, there are several comical stories of Jesus and his blustery and comical sidekick, Peter. Jesus loved Peter, and Peter, Jesus, but Peter has characteristics of a Sancho Panza. Peter can make us laugh. Peter gave up a few damaged nets and a beat up boat, for the keys of heaven. We are also called.

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