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Τετάρτη, 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2020

Fr. John. Today’s Sermon in a Nutshell


 


Today’s Sermon in a Nutshell

At one time or another, most of us have probably had an encounter with someone famous; a so-called, “brush with fame.” Personally, I’ve had a number of such events. When I was younger, I used to see the musician Prince quite frequently in clubs in Minneapolis prior to his catapult to stardom with the movie Purple Rain. I literally bumped into Vice Presidential hopeful, Geraldine Ferraro, in LaGuardia Airport during her campaign run with Walter Mondale, before the Secret Service pushed me aside. I saw Billy Idol and Lee Ving at a club in New York City, and I met Steve Perry, lead singer for Journey, as he was walking around Minneapolis prior to a concert. I even had John Kennedy, Jr. hold the door open for me as I entered a restaurant in Wisconsin!

One time, Travis Fryman of the Cleveland Indians, attended our Holy Friday evening service and I was introduced to him afterwards. As I was answering some of his questions about that service, I suddenly stopped and said, “You know, I think there is a baseball player that has your same name,” not realizing that was him I was talking to!

I’ve met numerous famous religious leaders (Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Bishops, and theologians), Politicians, Russian aristocracy, News Castors, Television personalities. Yet my most memorable chance encounter occurred during High School, while walking the halls between classes, when I saw my cousin sitting by her locker with her best friend next to her. When I stopped to talk, she introduced me to the girl who would become my wife!

In today’s gospel we read of chance encounter between a fisherman and The Fisher of Men; an encounter that was not only divine, but ended up being a life-changing event as well.

As the crowds gathered and pressed upon Christ, He was being backed against the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Seeing the fishermen tending their nets, Jesus asks Peter if He can burrow his boat to use as a pulpit and Peter obliges… putting out just offshore. Then, after our Lord finished His teaching, Jesus offers Peter a reward. Having spent the whole night without catching any fish, Jesus tells them to let down their nets and causes Peter and his crew to have such a catch of fish that their nets started to break!

The point is clear: we encounter Christ each day in myriad of ways. He is in the scriptures we read; the prayers we say as a family or in private; the hymns we chant at home or in church. He is there in the people we love; the people we hate; the people we help; or the people we ignore; those who are our friends; those who are our enemies. Yet if we remain aware of His presence and do all we can to invite Him into our “boat,” we will not only reap the benefits of His teachings, but receive an abundance of grace as well; the graces needed to maintain our faith, bear our cross, and stay the course towards our salvation!

Fr. John


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