“A GREAT MULTITUDE IN MESSIAH’S MERCY”
Saint Luke 5. 1-11
5th Sunday after Trinity: 30 June Anno Domini 2013
Fr Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of Jesus
Sin is solitary. Your “old Adam” not only wants to be “god,” the autonomous authority unto…yourself…but it wants nobody else getting in the limelight. Thus, Hell, will be what pagans and heathens actually craved all their lives…solitary confinement.
Not so with the Lord and His Trinitarian love and communitarian Grace. The Lord desires His sheepfold be full and wills that His table be overflowing with joyful communion!
And it comes to pass, that, God the Holy Ghost, presses upon Jesus the Word—here at Augsburg—people, YOU PEOPLE, to hear the word! Jesus now stands by the New Lake of Gennesaret, in its 8-sided wooden veneer banks!
The great draught of fish: “what does it mean?”
Your sinful nature can “take it,”accept it, if it’s only a mere story about Jesus being powerful—controlling nature stuff. Yes, Jesus is God and can make fish jump into a net; yes Jesus is the real provider of fish and of all groceries, rather than Hy-Vee and Monsanto. The sinful man, including yours, always accepts power but recoils at Grace and Mercy. Repent!
You are not Galilean fishermen and you don’t live by the Sea of Galilee. And something else…you are not called and ordained “fishers of men;” i.e. you are not tasked with the distinct vocation of the Office of Bishop or Presbyter. His words of Matthew 28.19-20 were not spoken to you but to His Church as Church and to the Apostles and their successors as Article Five of the Augustana correctly explicates. You do not have the weight of saving the world or converting the lost on your shoulders. Repent!
But, if no one, no fallen creature—sinful in thought, word and deed—wants to be considered a dumb sheep, how much less does your Pharisee heart want to be called a fish? Repent. Repent and take supernal JOY that this Gospel is about you being saved by Christ Jesus, by His Grace, and not of your works.
Jesus saw and beheld those “two ships” even as He saw you and loved you from before eternity. The two ships are both, the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures as well as, the Law and Gospel—the killing and re-birthing of His full counsel! The fishermen are His Patriarchs, Judges, Prophets, Good Kings, Psalmists, Apostles, Evangelists, Martyrs, and Bishops. The nets are the preached Word.
Jesus enters the ship because the boat is HIS One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. There is but one Church and it’s the One wherein Christ is present with His Word and His Sacramental Word: period! Simon pilots the boat on behalf of Christ—notwithstanding the errors of protestant and lc-ms (sic) Congregationalist/Voter-democracy heterodoxy. Jesus directs that His Church sail out into the deep waters, for it is only in the depths of misery, despair, degradation, sin, death, decay, and denial that the lost are swimming…swimming away from God. Such were all of you before He netted you in the Sacrament of Holy + Baptism.
Simon and his successors, all the Bishops of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Shawnee...simply do the Lord’s bidding: “let down your nets for a draught.” The Word, Jesus, is preached “in season and out of season.” Jesus, not Peter, not any of us, JESUS “toiled all the night”—the night of 30 years of Commandment keeping; the night of supernatural blackness—noon to 3pm on Golgotha. Your words, your works, Saint Peter’s words and works account for nothing and accomplish nothing. The Christ’s Works and Words fill the net and inclose a “great multitude of fishes.” In this draught there are not only cod, i.e. white German-American Republicans (sic), but also sturgeon, mackerel and tuna, i.e. Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Arabs, and others…a “great multitude” indeed.
You have been hauled out of the deep, De Profundis, by the net of Jesus’ Words, which are in reality the very pierced, Blood-red, hands of the God/Man Himself. Jesus voluntarily and willingly let Himself be “made a worm” by your sins that He might lure, hook, and gut the great devil-fish; not Monstro of Pinocchio fame, but the dragon of Eden infamy. You have been not caught so much as rescued, brought into the “live-well” of the Ark of Salvation; placed in the pool of Jesus’ Heart and now swimming as a School of Saints in His Water of Washing and His Blood of Eucharist.
First, with Petros, you fall at Jesus’ knees, saying: “depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” And then secondly, Jesus lifts you from your knees speaking: “Son, Daughter, I have + forgiven you, and I love you.” And then He ushers you to your exalted seat at the High Table, to be fed, not fish sticks, not even lobster, but the Paschal Lamb Himself.
In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost