Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In our text for today, we find the story of the call of the first three disciples of Jesus: Simon Peter, James, and his brother John, the two sons of Zebedee. Later these three were with Jesus on the mount of the Transfiguration, but now they were to be found in a boat.
In the chronology of the New Testament, this episode occurred after the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River and His temptation in the desert by the devil. The Lord began Hs public ministry by preaching the gospel in the province of Galilee near a large body of water in northern Palestine, known as the Lake of Genessaret, also the Sea of Galilee or the Lake of Tiberias, a Roman emperor. It is a large body of water like Lake Maracaibo, and from this lake the Jordan River flows. The seat of Jesus' ministry was in the city of Capernaum, next to the Sea of Galilee. In this city, some archaeologists have found the ruins of a fisherman's house under a church; perhaps it was St. Peterís house.
"And it came to pass that when he was by the lake of Genessaret, the multitude crowded upon him to hear the word of God. And he saw two boats that were near the shore of the lake; and the fishermen, having descended from them, washed their nets. And entering one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, begged him to remove it from the ground a little; and sitting down, he taught the crowd from the boat. "
Pedro and the other fishermen had finished their work and was washing their nets. But, after His preaching, Jesus said to Peter, "Put out into the deep, and cast your nets to fish." This mandate was against Pedro's experience as a professional fisherman. He knew that there should be more fish in the shallower water. But out of respect, Pedro said to him, "Maestro, we have worked all night, and we have not caught anything; But in your word I will cast out the net. "
What happened? "And having done so, they captured a large quantity of fish, and their net was broken. And they signaled to the companions who were in the other boat to come to help them; and they came, and they filled both boats, so that they nearly sank. "
Jesus showed his divine power and Peter recognized him. "When Simon Peter saw this, he fell to the knees of Jesus, saying: Get away from me, Lord, because I am a sinful man." And not only Peter. "Likewise to James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were companions of Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, Do not fear; from now on you will catch men. And when they brought the boats to land, leaving everything, they followed him. "
Jesus did not seek for those who will be apostles in the universities, not the courts of kings, nor among the rich and famous. No, he searched among the common men, the fishermen of Galilee. In time Jesus chose 12 men to be apostles. After his resurrection, he authorized them to preach and administer the sacraments in his name, and make disciples of all nations. But first, Jesus prepared them for the apostolic work for three years. Therefore, they left their boats and other businesses, and followed Jesus.
We must understand that not all believers are called to leave their businesses, their families and their friends to preach the Word to the ends of the earth. This is the mission of the church, right. But, after the Ascension of our Lord, the whole church has the authority and responsibility to call, prepare and support ministers of the gospel.
The Office of the Keys belongs to the church as a whole. The keys are what open or close the doors to eternal life. Through the public ministry, the church in the name of Christ calls everyone to repentance because all are condemned by the Law of God. For those who do not repent upon hearing the Word and reject the mercy of God until the final judgment, the proclamation closes the doors. For those who repent, the good news of the forgiveness of sins by the blood of Jesus Christ opens the doors.
Not all are called to preach and administer the sacraments, but all are called to bear witness to the love of God in their lives. Which way? As St. Peter says in the epistle (1 Peter 3: 8-15), "Finally, be all of one mind, compassionate, loving one another fraternally, merciful, friendly; not returning evil for evil, nor cursing for cursing, but on the contrary, blessing; knowing that you are called to inherit a blessing. "
Non-believers must see a difference in our lives. If we live in this way, with the help of the Holy Spirit, unbelievers will ask us, why do you live in this way? Then, says Peter, "Be always ready to respond with meekness and respect to everyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you."
Therefore, we will listen to public preaching and study the Bible in our homes, to deepen our understanding of the truth: Christ has done everything for us on the cross. God loved us first, then we love others because this is the will of God. In this, we have hope inside our hearts and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
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