Friday, January 19, 2018

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Third Sunday after Epiphany

And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him. (Mark 1:16–20)

Reflect on the nature and grandeur of the one Almighty God who could associate Himself with the poor of the lowly fisherman’s class. To use them to carry out God’s mission baffles all rationality. For having conceived the intention, which no one ever before had done, of spreading His own commands and teachings to all nations, and of revealing Himself as the teacher of the religion of the one Almighty God to all humanity, He thought good to use the most rustic and common people as ministers of his own design, because maybe God just wanted to work in the most unlikely way. For how could inarticulate folk be made able to teach, even if they were appointed teachers to only one person, much less to a multitude? How should those who were themselves without education instruct the nations?

But this was surely the manifestation of the divine will and of the divine power working in them. For when He called them, the first thing He said to them was "Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." And when He had thus acquired them as followers, He breathed into them His divine power, He filled them with strength and bravery, and like a true Word of God and as God Himself, the doer of such great wonders, He made them hunters of rational souls, adding power to His words: “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” With this empowerment God sent them forth to be workers and teachers of holiness to all the nations, declaring them heralds of His own teaching.

Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel 3.7

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