On the calling of the first apostles

(Luke 5:1-11 )

St Luke introduces us to the blessed moment when Jesus first began choosing His Disciples.

When Jesus was done with teaching the people at the Lake of Gennesaret, he told Peter to let down his net to catch some fish. St Peter was an experienced fisherman and even though he hadn’t caught anything after a whole night of fishing, Peter obeyed in humility. The two boats subsequently filled so greatly with fish that they began to sink. All who witnessed this catch were amazed.

Jesus then told Peter, and the brothers James and John (the sons of Zebedee), that they would now “become fishers of men” (5:10), and they immediately left everything and followed Him.

St John Chrysostom writes that the fishermen were called through their profession of fishing, just as the Magi were called through their work of astronomy. This shows that all can be called to Christ through their work, and can serve Christ through their work.

Christ, however, had greater fishing plans for these fishermen, and they showed their obedience by leaving everything at once and following Him.

There is a deeper spiritual meaning to this catch of fish, with the boat being a type of the Church, through which the Apostles would be filled with the faithful. St Cyril of Alexandria writes that this haul gave the Apostles courage and strength on their evangelising missions, as they knew that their efforts would bear fruit. Following on from this, he writes that Christ calls all to conversion who “are in the depths of the sea, that is to say, those who live in the surge and waves of worldly things.”

Source: Lychnos August/September 2019 edition