18th Sunday After Pentecost

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

haul of fishMy dear brothers and sisters in Christ in today’s Gospel we are told of one of the miracles of Christ. That miracle is a great haul of fish. The Gospel starts with a scene of fishermen washing their nets. We learn that one of the fishermen is Peter. Our Lord tells Peter to take Him out in one of the boats for a catch of fish. Peter explains his doubt because they were fishing all night and caught nothing. However, Peter follows the Lord’s command. When Peter drops his net at the Lord’s command it is filled to the breaking point. Peter’s response to this miracle is to ask the Lord to depart from him because he is a sinful man. Our Lord’s response is that from now on Peter and his partners James and John will catch men instead of fish.

God is the giver of gifts to men. All of His gifts are good and perfect which make men marvel. A miracle is nothing more than this, a gift from God that makes men marvel.

God performs miracles to remind men that He is watchful over the world. That God governs the world and orders it. Thus, what may seem to be the natural order of things in the minds of men is disturbed by the action of God. God is the creator and order of the world. As our Lord says “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Miracles also remind men that without God they can do nothing. Saint Paul reminds us of this when he says “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that plants anything, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase.” (1Corinthians 3:6-7)

There is a proverb that is similar to this that says “Men propose, but God disposes.” We often have many desires in our hearts and minds. We plan many things. Many of these plans remain as unrealized ideas. Other plans get put into action ending in failure. While, still other plans are put into action ending in success. These plans are those that were adopted by God.

The plans that are adopted by God are His, are like Him and come from Him. All that is not from God, like God and are not God’s are rejected by God. We are reminded of this in the Psalms where it says “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” (Psalms 127:1) If we plan or build something in our own name it will fail but, if plan and build to honor God it will be successful.

The Gospel reminds us that God gives each of us gifts or miracles that are to be used for His glory when He says to Saints Peter, James and John from now on you will be fishers of men.

The Gospel of the talents reminds us that we are accountable for these gifts and they are not our own. Think of the individual that had just one talent. He took the one talent and treated it as if it was his own. He concealed it from others by burying it in the ground rather than brining it out to be used and to grow. As a result of this he brought judgment upon himself and he was put out into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So my dear brothers and sisters in Christ God gives us miracles in various forms some that we experience and others that are the talents that we have for one purpose and one purpose only. That purpose is that “all men be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)

Amen

Delivered by Fr. Milan Medakovic at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church on the 18th Sunday After Pentecost 2009

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