Release and Catch

fishing netIn most bibles that give heading titles to sections (which are helpful, but not part of the original text), today’s gospel is labelled, e.g., The Call of Simon the Fisherman. James and John, the sons of Zebedee, get second billing in this account. However Jesus never “calls” them. He never utters a “follow me” to them, like in the accounts of calling the same fishermen in Mark 1:16-20 and Matthew 4:18-22. In our text, Jesus only talks to Simon. Later Jesus will give the command, “Follow me,” to Levi (Luke 5:27), who like these fishermen, “leaves everything and follows him” (5:11, 28). Jesus announces to Simon (and only to Simon!) what Simon will now be doing. This call/announcement comes not in a “holy” place such as the temple or synagogue, but at work. The call comes not to extraordinary, designated holy people such  as priests or Pharisees, but to a fisherman; one who knows his sinfulness.

Continue reading

Prayer and memory

sermon-on-the-mountJesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Mark 6:7-8) This is the verse that comes just before the Markan version of the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father. Depending o the translation one is viewing you will read references to “babbling” in prayer, vain repetitions, empty phrases, needless words – all referring to the pattern of prayer used by the pagans of Jesus’ time. Continue reading