Tuesday, 22 July 2014

St Luke 5:1-16

St Luke 5:

Factum est autem, cum turbæ irruerunt in eum ut audirent verbum Dei, et ipse stabat secus stagnum Genesareth. 2 Et vidit duas naves stantes secus stagnum: piscatores autem descenderant, et lavabant retia. 3 Ascendens autem in unam navim, quæ erat Simonis, rogavit eum a terra reducere pusillum. Et sedens docebat de navicula turbas. 4 Ut cessavit autem loqui, dixit ad Simonem: Duc in altum, et laxate retia vestra in capturam. 5 Et respondens Simon, dixit illi: Præceptor, per totam noctem laborantes nihil cepimus: in verbo autem tuo laxabo rete. 6 Et cum hoc fecissent, concluserunt piscium multitudinem copiosam: rumpebatur autem rete eorum. 7 Et annuerunt sociis, qui erant in alia navi, ut venirent, et adjuvarent eos. Et venerunt, et impleverunt ambas naviculas, ita ut pene mergerentur. 8 Quod cum videret Simon Petrus, procidit ad genua Jesu, dicens: Exi a me, quia homo peccator sum, Domine. 9 Stupor enim circumdederat eum, et omnes qui cum illo erant, in captura piscium, quam ceperant: 10 similiter autem Jacobum et Joannem, filios Zebedæi, qui erant socii Simonis. Et ait ad Simonem Jesus: Noli timere: ex hoc jam homines eris capiens. 11 Et subductis ad terram navibus, relictis omnibus, secuti sunt eum.12 Et factum est, cum esset in una civitatum, et ecce vir plenus lepra, et videns Jesum, et procidens in faciem, rogavit eum, dicens: Domine, si vis, potes me mundare. 13 Et extendens manum, tetigit eum dicens: Volo: mundare. Et confestim lepra discessit ab illo. 14 Et ipse præcepit illi ut nemini diceret: sed, Vade, ostende te sacerdoti, et offer pro emundatione tua, sicut præcepit Moyses, in testimonium illis. 15 Perambulabat autem magis sermo de illo: et conveniebant turbæ multæ ut audirent, et curarentur ab infirmitatibus suis. 16 Ipse autem secedebat in desertum, et orabat.

And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth,[2] And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. [3] And going into one of the ships that was Simon' s, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting he taught the multitudes out of the ship. [4] Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. [5] And Simon answering said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net. [6] And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke. [7] And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. [8] Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. [9] For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. [10] And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon' s partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. [11] And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him. [12] And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy, who seeing Jesus, and falling on his face, besought him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. [13] And stretching forth his hand, he touched him, saying: I will. Be thou cleansed. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. [14] And he charged him that he should tell no man, but, Go, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing according as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them. [15] But the fame of him went abroad the more, and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. [16] And he retired into the desert, and prayed.

Commentary (de Lapide)

Ver. 6.—They inclosed a great multitude of fishes—for Peter had said, “At Thy word I will let down the net.” “Behold here the fruit and reward of obedience. Jesus did this—1. In order that by providing them with food, He might prepare them for their vocation and ministry. I have chosen you to be My disciples, make not excuse that ye must work for your livelihood as fishermen. Behold this miraculous draft of fishes, and believe that I am able to provide you with all things necessary for life more easily and more abundantly than ye are able to provide them yourselves. 2. To teach from this miracle, that they were soon to become successful fishers of men.

Ver. 7.—And they beckoned unto their partners—because from joy and wondering astonishment they were unable to speak.

Ver. 10.—Fear not (be not lost in astonishment, from henceforth you are to be fishermen in a higher sense of the word), from henceforth thou shalt catch men. ζωγζω̃ν from ζωγζέω, which means—
First, to hunt or catch some living thing, hence the Arabic translates it, from henceforth thou shalt be a fisherman, for thou shalt fish for and take men. Thou, Peter, shalt catch men, not by wounding and disabling them, as wild animals are taken; but as fish which are unhurt by the net, so thou shalt catch men not by violence or force, but through the power and operation of the spirit.

Secondly (if we derive the word from ζω̃ν and ε̉γζομαι or ε̉γείζω, to quicken, or recall to life. Hence S. Ambrose (Hexam., lib. v. cap. vi.) “Thou shalt be a life-giver to men;” and the Syriac, “Thou shalt be a fisher of men, to recall them to life.” Fishermen, indeed, catch fish to provide themselves with food, but thou, 0 Peter, art to become a fisher of men, not to destroy them, but to give them life by raising them from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness, for like as fish taken from the water die, so men caught by thee become dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, and, in a sense, as fish are assimilated by those who feed on them, so do those who are inclosed in the Gospel net, become in very truth members of Christ. Figuratively, the ship of Peter is the Church, the head of which is Peter and his successors. The Pope is therefore the chief fisherman to whom the words of Christ apply, “Thou shalt catch men.” It is the duty, therefore, of the Roman Pontiff directly and by means of others to convert the heathen, as the early occupants of the see of Rome converted the Roman people and sent apostolic men to preach the word of life to heathen lands.

Thus S. Gregory sent Augustine to convert the English people.

S. Ambrose observes, that some men, e.g., the martyrs, like fish, are taken by the hook; others, i.e., the body of the faithful, by the net, and adds, “Nets are the means whereby the Apostles catch men, for nets do not destroy but preserve what they take, and bring to the surface that which is floating below.”
Nets are called in Latin “retia,” because they are retentive “retinentia,” of that which they have taken.—Gloss.

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