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Archive for November 1st, 2017

Gospel Reading:  Luke 5:1-11

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Photo by Andy Mai on Unsplash

 

“There’s not much fishing in a creek.”

When I was a child, my parents took us to the mountains every now and then. We stayed with a family friend who lived there. Near the cabin was a beautiful creek. Its water was sparkling and cool as it rushed from a spring somewhere up the mountain. On a hot summer day, we three children delighted in taking our shoes off and easing ourselves into the water. It was not very deep, so we could only wade in the creek water. The water was so cool—even cold—so it took some getting used to, even on a hot day. And we had to be careful, because some of the river rocks were slippery.

As children, we were fascinated by the occasional catfish we could see under some of the edges where the water was a bit deeper. I remember thinking how ugly a catfish is. We knew Daddy went fishing sometimes, so we asked Daddy why wouldn’t we fish here in this creek—even though I couldn’t imagine eating that ugly fish. Daddy said, “Oh, there’s not much fishing in a creek, honey. It isn’t deep enough.” I pointed out the catfish, and he made a face. So either he had eaten one too many catfish when he was young and poor, living in a mountain cabin with a big family, or he just didn’t like the taste. He said, “You have to go in deeper waters to get good fish like perch or flounder.” Oh. Okay, Daddy.

Of course as children, we knew nothing about the particular demands of commercial fishing—the kind that people do to make a living. We just knew that occasionally, our father went fishing. What he caught, he cleaned, and Mama cooked, and it ended up with our carefully picking bones from the meat.

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In today’s gospel, Simon, James, John and some other men are well acquainted with commercial fishing. They live on the shore of the Sea of Galilee [note: this lake has at least four names, including Sea of Galilee and Lake Gennesaret], and most o­­f the people in Capernaum make their living by fishing. From evidence gained by archeologists from an ancient boat recovered in 1986, it’s likely that the boats they used were about 27 feet long, 7.5 feet wide, “shallow drafted with a flat bottom” so that they could get close to shore with their catches.[1] (more…)

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