Sunday, October 9, 2016


"And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon Him to hear the word of God," our Lord entered Peter's fishing boat and spoke to the multitudes.  Then--after he had finished his sermon--he said to Peter, "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught."  Peter replied that though he and his companions had already been fishing all night and caught nothing, "nevertheless at Thy word I will let down the net."  And so it was that such a multitude of fish was caught, that two boats could barely contain them, and were on the verge of sinking.

It was because Peter was willing to take such a leap of faith--acting in obedience to a command that some might consider to be contrary to common sense--that he is deemed worthy by our Lord to become a fisher of men.  Having proved himself faithful in small things, Peter is empowered by the grace of God to become the foremost of apostles.

But alas... I find myself woefully lacking in that boldness exemplified by St. Peter.  You see, I (like many of us) much prefer to remain in my comfort zone, to play it safe, content to remain in the shallows, where there may indeed be fewer fish and no prospect for adventure... but at least I won't face the risk of going too far in my zeal for the Faith.  After all, this religious stuff is all very fine as far as it goes, but one must (according to the worldly way of thinking) be practical.  Trusting God is one thing, but there's got to be a limit as to how far I'm willing to go out onto a limb. 

But Peter was anything but practical.  He was impulsive, fervent, fiercely loyal, and totally dedicated, willing to cast caution to the wind, serving Christ unto the bitter end--whatever the consequences!  And it should be noted as well that his conviction was based not on some abstract devotion to a cause--his faith was not ideological, but rather personal, based upon his relationship with the Person of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, Who is the Son of the Living God and one of the Holy Trinity.  His unconditional loyalty was inspired by love, which is the Source and Foundation of our Faith.

As the Holy Apostle, Evangelist, and Theologian John (whose memory we commemorate today) so eloquently expresses in his epistle, "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwellest in God, and God in him."  Herein lies the essence of the Christian Faith: that "we love Him, because He first loved us."  And again, "perfect love casteth out fear."  For truly... if God is for us, who or what can ever be against us?  If the love of God in Christ Jesus dwells in our hearts, then we are truly empowered to become conquerors against every machination of the Devil, and to become inheritors of eternal life in God's heavenly Kingdom.

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