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Catching People

After all those fish jumped into the boat there a lot of things Peter could have said.  Like, WOW! Where did you learn to fish like that! Or, he could have said, if you're not doing anything tomorrow about this same time, would you go out with us again?  Instead, Peter said something that went far beyond fishing.

The miracle brings Peter to his knees.  Then his address to Jesus changes from Master to "Lord, Kyrios", a title of divinity. Parallel to Isaiah in the temple, except the man Peter is speaking to is sitting in a boat, not sitting above the cherubim and seraphim. And remember Peter is a devout Jew and devout Jews just don't throw that title, "Kyrios" around.   Peter has met someone who will change his life. Jesus had just told Peter to push out into the deep and lower your nets for a catch.  In effect he is telling Peter, you are going to be moving deep inside of yourself and you are in over your head, and you are going to have to learn how to trust me.

After the miracle what Peter does say is:  "Leave me, Lord, I am a sinful man."  What does Peter mean? Lord, if you only knew what a biased, stubborn, mule headed man I am, you would have gotten into someone else's boat?  Or, is this anticipating a future statement:  You are the Son of the Living God.

But the Lord doesn't leave, and yes the Lord does know what he is dealing with in Peter, after all he is Kyrios.  And then he tells Peter something that, when Peter was preparing his nets that morning, he had no idea that he would hear that night:  "do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching people".  How many times have we thought if God only knew how rotten I am, or if God only knew how many times I have failed him?  But God does know and still he doesn't leave us.  Still he says, put out into the deep and lower your nets.

As for catching people, you say, Jesus meant that for Apostles and Popes, like Peter, James and John, not for me. I don't think so. The way I read the story today, Jesus invited Peter to be a people catcher while he was still a fisherman.  You and I are people catchers.  We've got a license to fish; it's called a baptismal and confirmation certificate.  By the end of the Gospel we know Peter has learned the key to ministry and life when Jesus asks him, "Do you love me Peter?" And Peter says, "You know I do", and Jesus answers, "Then feed my sheep".

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Monsignor Fred Nijem

Father Kevin O'Keefe
Parochial Vicar

Jim Hunt

Ron Simons

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Saturday Vigil: 5:00 pm
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Sacred Heart Catholic Church
251 South Davis Drive
Warner Robins, GA 31088

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Christian Service Center

Christian Service Center
136 Nortview Avenue
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Phone: 478.929.3897
Director: Greg Schliekelman
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