Last week's passage from Luke's Gospel
saw Jesus rejected by the people of
his home town,
with its population of 400,
and heading down to
with its population of 1,500.
Capernaum is about 20 miles away
an easy day's walk.
In passages read on weekdays,
has Jesus exorcising a demon in the synagogue,
curing Simon's mother-in-law
of a fever,
and healing people sick with various diseases.
Then Jesus goes
off to a deserted place,
but people follow him
and try to convince him to
stay in Capernaum.
Instead he heads off to spread the good news
other towns of Judea,
and that's where today's Gospel passage picks
Luke says Jesus is standing by Lake Gennesaret,
that's called the Sea of Galilee by the other evangelists,
four miles from Capernaum,
a little more than an hour's walk
A crowd has gathered by
the lake to hear Jesus.
So he hops into Simon's boat and sits down—
posture of the teacher in the Jewish tradition.
The miraculous catch of fish
follows his teaching,
Luke's version of an event
that most scholars
in some form or another
Mark and Matthew give
the bare information
that Jesus told the disciples
they would be catching
people instead of fish.
Luke expands the story
into the big catch and the
call of the disciples.
John puts the catch after the resurrection, on the
as a story of call to discipleship and sending on
All four of the
Gospels give evidence
that Jesus talked about fish a lot,
and he ate a lot
and he passed them out to lots of people.
Many of the towns he
Capernaum, Bethsaida, Caesarea Philipi, Chorazin,
and Hippos in the Decapolis,
Jericho, Tyre, Sidon—
were on rivers, lakes,
or the Mediterranean Sea.
the time of this event,
Simon Peter would already have experienced
as an extraordinary person
through his experience of the teaching in
and the exorcism
and the healing miracles.
catch of fish puts Peter over the edge—
he leaves everything and follows
People would have remembered
Peter talking about that important
moment over the years.
People also remembered that Peter was not
He was an ordinary human being.
He worked hard as a business
partner with James and John.
He was not part of the ruling class but one of
and would have, along with other Galilean Jews of the
chafed under Roman oppression.
He was impetuous,
prone to misunderstanding what Jesus was saying.
But more than
people remembered that Peter's encounter with Jesus
changed his life.
In that same
our life experiences change us.
At some point we are compelled to
perhaps to follow the dream, like Isaiah;
or to see more clearly,
or to leave a job, like Peter.
We remember a point
made an important choice.
And it happens to us
not just once
Most of the calls we
get are little ones,
choices we make almost automatically,
like smiling at
or helping a grandchild with homework.
They're like the call
to let his friend Jesus hop in his boat
and put out a short
distance from the shore.
He could have said no
and kept on washing the
And some of the calls are big ones,
like Peter's leaving everything
behind and following Jesus.
We might answer a call to learn
that sends us
off to college,
or a call to marriage and family,
a call to leave a
well-paying job for a more meaningful one,
a call to volunteer for justice
Sometimes we misunderstand,
stumbling along the way like Peter
and take the wrong way for a while.
Then, like Peter, we turn
By the way we
by the choices we make in each circumstance,
our actions teach the
Way of Jesus.
We are called to be disciples.
We become followers of the
We become fishers of people.
Holy Spirit Catholic
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West
Central Avenue (Washington Church)
Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH