Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio

This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!

The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.

We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!

Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM

We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible! We are open, and we welcome inside the Church all visitors. See our Parish web page:

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

On the Feast of St. Nicholas - '23

Glory to Jesus Christ!

My brothers and sisters in Christ:

The Gospel reading for the day is taken from the Sermon on the Mount.  All readings we use today (Old Testament readings at Vespers, Epistle, and Gospel) are readings used in the Church for saints who are of the category of "Wonderworkers".  Let's focus on the Gospel account.  It calls to our attention the aspects of the life of Saint Nicholas that we also should value and seek for ourselves. 

“Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”  In other Evangelists, this reads “poor in spirit”, but we can take the meaning either way and find profit.  Saint Nicholas was rich in the world, by virtue of the estate left him by his parents.  And yet he gave it all away, not without discretion, but to those to whom he was led by the Lord, for the benefit of their salvation, and by the accounts of these blessed gifts, for the benefit of the salvation of all who throughout all time would hear the accounts of Saint Nicholas’ life. 

“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled.”  Saint Nicholas was so hungry for doing the will of God that he didn’t withhold his righteous anger over the heresy of Arius, but struck him – in the presence of the Emperor.  This was an offense punishable by death, and for it, the assembly stripped Saint Nicholas of his episcopal rank.  His hunger was filled quickly by the intervention of the Lord in giving a common dream to all who rightly (by canon) but wrongly by principle, stripped his rank, a dream showing the Lord and His Blessed Mother returning the saint’s omophorion and the Gospel to him.  That next morning the council obeyed the instruction of the dream and reinstated St. Nicholas' episcopal office!

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”  Years ago on this Feast, we discussed the miracle of the young man who in 1920’s Russia was being led away by Communists to be murdered with other former city officials.  His family knowing that he was lost, not reporting for duty, already feared the worst and prayed to Saint Nicholas for intervention.  We can only imagine Saint Nicholas weeping over the plight of so many at the time.  But his weeping was changed into laughter by our Lord.  Saint Nicholas approached the line of those being led away to slaughter and took this young man by the hand and began to walk away from the group.  A soldier shouted at Saint Nicholas – “Go away, old man!”  Unflinching in his resolve, Saint Nicholas looked at the man and simply said, “Let this one go.  I know him.”  And they walked away without so much as another word.  After reaching a safe distance, the blessed saint told the young man, “Go home to your mother,” and the saint vanished.  We can only imagine the blessed saint's laughter!

“Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man’s sake.”

See how the world hates Saint Nicholas.  Oh, they LOVE “Santa Claus”, because he sells things.  But Saint Nicholas is only out to sell selfless love.  There’s no room in the world for THAT.  The saint’s name is a bad word in our society.  Isn’t it sad when we can openly talk about the perverted image of Santa Claus, but cannot bring the discussion of Saint Nicholas to the fore without immediately being labeled a fanatic, a believer in phantasy, or worse.  Think of the obvious error - Saint Nicholas is labeled a fantasy, but Santa Claus, he’s “real”.  Inconceivable, but you know it’s true, and it’s where we find ourselves today!

“Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy!  For indeed your reward is great in heaven.”  Let me suggest that it is not only Saint Nicholas whose reward is great in heaven, but it is great for all who revere his memory, who believe in his message of love and selfless giving, who find in his life the image of Christ that we are all called to reflect while serving our Lord here in this world, who seek to follow Christ by conforming ourselves to the example given us BY St. Nicholas.  And if we only find within ourselves the ability to partially accomplish some of the love and giving of Saint Nicholas, then our reward is also promised!

“For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”  Let me suggest that this is a warning to us, that the world, who has already spiritually assassinated Saint Nicholas, that same world, and its leader Satan, will try to do the same to any who attempt to walk the same path as he has shown to us.  The world will try to reframe us as irrelevant, as fanatical, as judgmental, as being filled with hate (imagine that!), as being founded in ancient traditions and not having the “wisdom to use modern thinking” to guide us.  Lord, help us - we NEED more "ancient wisdom"!!!

Saint Nicholas is looking upon us now, standing ready to accept our plea to him, along with our pleas to Saint Herman, our patron, to intercede before the Lord, that our offerings as a people attempting to be faithful to the Lord will not be in vain, that our actions will be guided by the Lord’s will, and not our own.

On this Saint Nicholas day, let us not forget the love of this revered Wonderworker.  Let us call upon him as did the mother of the young man in Russia, to deliver us and our children from the evil that surrounds us in the world today.  Let us seek his intervention so that we might be found to be worthy of the same love shown by our Lord when he returned Saint Nicholas’ episcopal rank.  May our Lord return to us the pure garments of our own baptism, so that we may also serve Him – in faith and love.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Monday, December 4, 2023

God's "Needle"

 [Luke 18:1-27]

We’ve spoken of the encounter in today's Gospel many times [Luke 18:18-27].  Let’s take another view of it, hopefully from a different angle, a different perspective.

We’ve heard on a number of occasions those who come to Jesus asking, What must I do to achieve the goal of eternal life, of entry into the Kingdom of Heaven.  The Lord’s answer is consistent.  Follow the commandments.  Love God. Love your neighbor.  Love those who hate you.  Do good.

Typically those who get to this point become entangled not by the simplicity of the path outlined (for it IS ‘simple’), but rather by their attachments to the things of this world.

We live here.  Our five senses are focused here.  We have no physical sense that allows us to perceive anything beyond this world.  If we’re going to perceive things of eternity, we must develop a spiritual sense.  We have to believe in something that the five senses cannot help us to believe in.

We have to have faith!

In today’s encounter with the certain ruler, this is exactly where the interplay between our Lord and the man leads.  Jesus tells him plainly that which separates him from eyes that can see beyond ‘here’, eyes that can see into eternity.  And again, it is simple.

You lack ONE THING. 

Only one?  You’re not going to critique my state of repentance?  You’re not going to tell me about people I’ve ignored or offended?  Only one thing?  We can sense the man thinking, “This should be easy!”

And it is—IF the man’s heart is right.  But it’s not.  Jesus’ instruction is VERY simple.

Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.

The physical bond between this dirt, this place of “things that don’t matter” is the greatest stumbling block that exists—I dare say for any of us.  We want ‘security’.  We want to believe (for we cannot “know”) that what we have today will carry us through tomorrow.  We are afraid to trust in God to provide us with all we will need tomorrow.  And so we trust in ourselves as a source of security in a world that can take our perceived security away in a heartbeat.  Earthquake?  Flood?  Fire?  Significant illness?  War? How many ways are there for the world to snatch anything we perceive as being our self-generated security for tomorrow, snatch it away from our very hands?

Worse  than this, Jesus gives today’s man the greatest potential blessing that one could hope for. 

Come, follow Me.

Can you imagine anything you might possibly need that the Lord would not provide for you as one who walked with Him, talked with Him, witnessed His miracles.  What “need” could you manifest that God the Son could not and would not provide for you if you were one of His Apostles?

Jesus ends by teaching, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  The Holy Fathers teach that these words point not to an animal, but to a rope (play on Aramaic word ‘gamalo’ vs. ‘gamala’, camel or rope—St. Cyril of Alexandria, 376-444, in Fragment 219).  Jesus plainly says, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

Knowing my sinfulness, Lord I ask You to open wide the eye of Your needle when You call me to leave this life!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Who Touched Me?

The English language is funny sometimes.  Words get used in strange ways, being given meanings when used in conjunction with other words that the word itself might not otherwise connote.

For instance, we insert words into structures where their presence is inconsistent.  “Well, that’s pretty silly,” you might say.  But in so saying, you just proved the point, for what does “pretty” mean?  And what purpose does it have in such an expression?

You get the idea.

So it is with respect to the word “touch”.  We know what the word is supposed to mean:

Touch—(v): to cause or permit a part of the body, especially the hand or fingers, to come into contact with so as to feel.

But we use the word differently at times.  There is the phone advertisment from a couple of decades ago that said (with respect to long-distance calling), ‘Reach out and touch someone.’  They certainly weren't talking about "fingers feeling".

The secular company for which I work has a Korean agent with whom we work closely.  While his English is far better than my Korean, it always puts a smile on my face when he speaks about contacting someone, and in his understanding of our English, he doesn't say, "I contacted him."  Rather, he says, “I touched him.”

In today’s Gospel (Luke 8:41-56) we’re told that the woman with the issue of blood came behind Him and touched the border of His garment.  In this phrase, the word touched is the Greek word haptomai, which translates to touch, but also to ‘attach oneself to.’  Perhaps the later is too aggressive, for the woman clearly did not seek to draw attention to herself.  She came in faith.  We are told in the Gospel of St. Matthew (9:21) that she believed, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.’  It is this level of firm belief and conviction with which she came this day to where our Lord was, in the presence of a throng of people.  We can picture this poor unfortunate and quite ill woman, likely on her knees such that she would not be noticed, but reaching out so that her finger would come in contact with, so as to feel the garment our Lord wore.

What was her reward?  We know from the Gospel of St. Mark, ‘Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.’ Do we hear the words of the Evangelist?  Immediately!  She need not see.  She need not inspect her body for the affliction.  She knows it is gone.  All this BEFORE the Lord calls out for her to show herself and to testify to that which has happened to her.

St. Luke reports that at this point she is filled with fear.  ‘She came trembling and fell down before Him,’ telling her story.

This woman ‘touched’ the Lord in several ways that relate to our English language.  There was the physical touch.  We can picture her fingers in contact with the garment of our Lord.  She felt it.

But she felt something more than linen.  The ‘touch’ executed here linked not skin of a finger to woven cloth.  Her touch linked a body in decay to its only real Physician.  This touch linked a spirit filled with the only hope she had that remained to the Source of that hope.  She ‘reached out and touched” the Lord spiritually.

What do we take away from this encounter?  We are not so very much different from this woman.  Each of us has infirmity and wounds that border on incapacitating us.  And we know that our Lord has the ability to heal all that ails us.

But do I truly try to touch Him?  He is giving all of us the call to do so.  It is from His lips that His instruction to us comes—’Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’ (Mat 7:7)

All that needs to ‘change’ is my own heart, my own repentant state of mind, and my firm conviction and belief that He meant exactly what He said.

Saturday, October 28, 2023


 We (popadia and I) were driving down a local ‘in-town’ road a couple of weeks ago, and we drove up behind a car with a bumper sticker.  I don’t try to read everything on such vehicles.  Very often they contain messages that are less than edifying.  But in this case, I laughed out loud.

They say that for something to be truly funny, it needs to be founded in reality.  What did the sticker say?  It was three simple words:  I MISS TRUTH!  As I let the message get absorbed into my thoughts, the first reaction was, “Yes!  Me too!!!”

Look at the world around you.

We’ve labored for the past 20 years to keep political issues out of this forum because it’s not the place of your spiritual father to attempt to coerce you into thinking in any given “left or right” leaning direction—as relates to candidates, people.

However, when political issues inject themselves into the spiritual realm, we must react with spiritual insight, always praying that God will reveal to us the direction He chooses for us to take, and being open enough to seek HIS truth, and not the “truth” being offered to us by worldly entities - from either side!

Take for instance Issue 1 on the upcoming November ballot.  Those urging Ohio citizens to vote YES state that voting NO on the issue will prevent victims of rape from seeking abortions.  They further state that women whose lives are in danger from pregnancy will be prevented from seeking an abortion. 

What’s the truth?  Visit snopes.com/fact-check/ohio-abortion-law-no-rape-exception/.  They declare the rape claim to be FALSE.

And what are the “risks to the life of a mother” that would require abortion? 

Maternal mortality in the US is increasing, with an estimated 17.4 maternal deaths per every 100,000 live births. (That’s less than 0.02% - source: forbes.com/health/womens-health/pregnancy/pregnancy-statistics/)

For the record, EVERY child aborted loses its life! (That’s 100% - source: Fr. Basil)

“But Father, if these claims are false, how can they lie about it?”

Good question!  The answer lies in the second tier of falsehoods that surround us, that which USED to be called “news reporting.”  As evidenced above, we can’t believe everything we’re told.  We must do our own digging and research to find what is right, where is truth.

In days gone by, those who acquired degrees in journalism would dig into potential lies and expose them.  This is how the presidency of Richard Nixon and the excesses of Joseph McCarthy were brought down.  Good comes from a free press and from conscientious journalists.  For this to be the case, there should be reporting that presents fact, not opinion.

Today, those who ‘report the news’ seem quite openly to be only surrogates for those who have the financial wherewithal to own “news entities”, which report basically what they’re told to report.

Today, truth doesn’t matter.  Aligning the story with an edicted narrative seems to be what matters.

But there’s only ONE place to find the TRUTH.  You know Who He is and where to find Him.

For us, what becomes important is to attempt to follow His will in all such wranglings.  "Seek first the Kingdom."   Our Lord's words about His Apostles are true for us as well.  "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." (John 17:14)

After the world gives its answer in a divisive election such as this, we need to live in such a way as to have our lives speak the TRUTH so that others can find it (and Him) within us, regardless of what the voting results turn out to be.  This is NOT a call to deny or disobey.  It IS a call to continue to speak truth, to shine light where there is darkness.

Don’t anguish over what the world is doing and will do.  Each of us needs to do what the Holy Spirit reveals to us in prayer as that which is right. 

Remember the words of St. Seraphim of Sarov, “Save yourself, and thousands around you will be saved!” Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling (Phil 2:12).  Follow Christ!

Friday, October 20, 2023

Memory Eternal!

 [The TOPIC for this homily is taken from the text of the Gosepl for the 5th Week of Luke (16:19-31), the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.  It is somewhat fortuitous that on this Saturday we celebrate another 'Soul Saturday' Divine Liturgy, remembering the names of our loved ones departed this life.]

But now, thus says the Lord, Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.’ (Isa 43:1)

Names are important.  “Hey, you!” is not a very pleasing way to be encountered by another person!  In fact, sometimes we are offended if a person does not remember our name—it’s a hazard of the office of the priest!  It makes people feel unimportant if we forget their name, even if totally unintentional.

Which brings us to today’s Gospel reading—Lazarus (by name) and ‘the rich man’ (whose name our Lord has forgotten).

Within that last statement is a wealth of teaching, of which we’ll only scratch the surface here.  How did the rich man come to such a place as to alienate God so that his name would NOT be remembered by Him?  The answer is quite simple, actually.  He had a singular focus, and that focus was internal.  Mine!  All for one, and nothing for others.  There was no room for the least of God's brethren, the average (and needy) people.

The need of poor Lazarus was so profoundly obvious that even the most callous onlooker could not help but be moved by it.  And according to our Lord’s words in the parable, all Lazarus desired was the crumbs, the smallest of offerings to assuage his squalor would have meant worlds to him.  But the rich man averted his eyes, and thereby hardened his heart, such that he showed no concern for the need of another human being.  And in so doing, he alienated the Giver of Life, his Creator, depriving himself of a name that would be in God's eternal memory.

So, what words are left to use for us, and in this case, for our Lord, to call attention to such a man?  A name, by our opening comments, offers a certain dignity, a recognition of the ‘person-hood’ of the one being named.  Our Lord offers no such concession of dignity toward this—being.  The only thing he is worthy of being called is that which he chose to define himself as.  “The rich man.”  And so, for all eternity he will be known not by his heart, not by his great intellect, not by his caring, not by his love, not by his Lord.  He will only be remembered by his selfishness and ‘things’.  We know from the parable only a few short details, all of which are contained in only one verse of today’s Gospel.  He was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 

‘Purple’ defines his ability to afford only the best.  Creating cloth that was colored purple was incredibly difficult and very expensive.  Often in biblical use, purple is indicative of royalty.  The Jewish Tabernacle was covered in purple (Ex 26:1), indicative of God’s royalty.

Similarly, linen carries a connection to righteousness.  In ancient Jewish rituals, linen clothes were known as ‘the robe of light.’

And so this—person ‘put on’ things purchased so that he could appear royal and righteous.  Neither of which were true, but he could ‘afford to buy’ what would give this appearance!

Lesson:  You cannot buy righteousness!

There is more we could say about his dining sumptuously every day, especially from the Holy Fathers.  Let’s leave that as a homework assignment to the reader!

Lazarus’ name is known!  It is known to our Lord.  It is known to the Father.  It has come to be known to the Church—throughout all time.  His memory truly is eternal.  

Pray for the grace to have it so with us!


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Learning to Sow

 Not sew.  Sow!

In today’s Epistle [2Cor 9:6-11], St. Paul encourages us to be unselfish, to be “stewards” of the things that God has entrusted to us.

DEFINITION:  steward (n) - one who manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs; one who is in charge of a household’s affairs for a large estate.

We are called by God to be stewards.  He has freely given to us that which is HIS.  As human beings, and especially as Americans, we too often ascribe to ourselves ‘ownership’ of things that have entered into our lives.  Yes, this includes money, but it’s so much more than just money.

It’s physical things.  That car in the garage.  It’s our resource to get to work, and to bring home groceries, to make healthcare appointments, etc.  But it’s also the means of bringing us to church.  And while we’re coming, bring someone who can’t otherwise get there.  Use it to take donations to clothing distribution centers for the needy, food to soup kitchens.  Use it to visit people we know who are in hospitals or nursing homes, or even shut-ins.

That house we live in.  If there’s a person who becomes known to us who needs a place to stay for a couple of nights, would we freely offer it?  That mower in our shed.  It keeps our own home looking neat and trimmed.  But we could use it (along with some sweat equity) to cut the grass of a neighbor who is elderly, or ill, or even just away for a few days.

You see, we should be stewards of the THINGS God has blessed us to have access to.  Not to own, but to use—to HIS glory.  We bring our Master (the One before whom we stand as stewards) no glory by caring for our own needs.  He expects increase.  In fact, the parable of the talents shows that He DEMANDS such increase, by taking that which He has entrusted to us and applying it so that it bears fruit.  He expects us to come before Him and to be able to say, You entrusted me with five talents. See here are five more!

It’s only by laboring as good stewards that we can HOPE to hear from His lips that which He pronounced to that faithful steward.  Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of you Lord!

Entering into His joy is what St. Paul teaches us today as reaping bountifully.

To do this, St. Paul reminds us that we must give as we purpose in our hearts.  Don’t let the word give re-focus us ONLY on money.  It CAN mean that IF the Holy Spirit moves us in that direction.  But it can (and should) also mean those things we’ve already discussed, and so many more.

What’s the bottom line?  A steward is a servant who proves himself or herself worthy of being trusted with managing the affairs of a Master who trusts them to do so.  Trust.  Think of it—God trusting ME!?

Do I feel blessed beyond what I could hope for?  Yes!  Then what am I doing with the blessings—material, physical, spiritual—that He has given me, as His steward, to bring increase, to bring glory to His name?

If nothing yet, then it’s time to make the start.  If I’ve already begun, then it’s time to redouble my efforts. 

My time is running low, not much left to have a hope for turning my life around, so that I might hope to hear His voice say, Well done, good and faithful servant!


Monday, October 2, 2023

The Golden Rule

 [Luke 6:31-36}

The title of this article and of this passage of Holy Scripture conjures images of that which is pure and blessed.

And it is true.  But often that which is pure and blessed is not easy.  Living according to the “Golden Rule” is fraught with difficulty—from the purely human (and NOT spiritual) perspective.

What is this ‘rule’?

Paraphrased from today’s Gospel reading, it says, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Well, THAT doesn’t sound so difficult.  I mean, the demands I would make on anyone else seem to me at least to be minimal.  This should be easy, right?

Let me urge all not to rush to such a judgment.  For the Lord continues with the more detailed instructions.

The first of these is to love those who are difficult to love.  Loving those who already love you carries no special effort, nor therefore a special blessing.  Jesus is telling us we need to love that guy (or gal) who throws trash in our yard, or the co-worker who says untruths about us behind our backs.  Yes—love THESE people, and others like them!

Jesus continues.

Be kind to those who are unkind to you.  I suppose it’s a corollary to the previous admonishment, but it calls to attention our need to not rush to judgment.  In fact, not to judge at all.  It teaches us that we are to show kindness and respect to the person who wants to shout us into submission.  And in so doing, not to engage in shouting in return, but show the divine kindness that Jesus is encouraging us to see in Him as He deals with those who are HIS enemies.  How many encounters with the Pharisees and Sadducees did Jesus have in which they sought to trick Him into saying something they could use to prove Him wrong at something, anything?  And how many times did Jesus respond to them in anger?  Did you say, “Never”?

Finally, Jesus encourages us to not view things placed into our hands by His loving care for us to be personal possessions.  Instead, He says, Lend, hoping for nothing in return. 

“You mean, just GIVE to someone?  What if what they want is important to me?”

Well then, try to find a reason to make it less important.  Instead of worrying about when they will return what we loan them, if it's that important to you, perhaps you could ask the Lord to restore what you’ve freely loaned—in His time and as He chooses.

And what are we to expect if we conform to the Lord’s instructions for us?

Jesus says, You will be children of the Most High. 

“I thought we were already God’s children.” 

We are His creation.  We become His children when we conform ourselves to the instructions He gives to us.  The Prodigal left the Father and lived a sin-filled life.  The Father never counted him outside His love.  But the Prodigal placed himself there, segregated himself from that Love until?  Until he repented and returned to the Father’s love.  It took effort, labor.

So it is with us.  We must strive to conform ourselves with the instructions the Lord has left for us.  Then we will truly be children of the Most High!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Defining Faith

[Luke 5:1-11]

As we always say, “Words mean something,” and when we use words, we need to make certain that the words we use explain clearly what we’re trying to say—in speech or in writing.

Faith.  If we go to Webster to see what the word means, we learn the following:

Faith:  (n) 1a) allegiance to duty or person, loyalty, “lost faith” in someone; 1b) fidelity to promises, “acting in good faith”; 2a) belief and trust in God; 2b) firm belief in something for which there is no proof; 3) something believed with especially strong conviction.

In terms of Webster, it takes him (them) to #2 to find God in the definition.

But for me, the best one is 2b).  Those of us who regularly come to church define ourselves as “faithful.”  That doesn’t mean our attendance is regular—it should be, but that’s not the major point.  Majorly, faithful means we embrace the teachings of the Church with our whole heart.  As the Lord said in last week’s Gospel, in answering the lawyer’s question about “the greatest commandment,” Jesus said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is a statement of immersive love.  Every part of our being is called to engage this love, both physical and spiritual.  This kind of faith is unwavering.  We’ll get back to that in a moment.

In today’s Gospel, we find the Lord giving St. Peter a kind of ‘test of faith’.  Jesus says to Peter, Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.  It seems like a simple request.  But the life of one who fishes for a living is difficult.  Boats and sails and nets need mending and constant attention.  There are dangers in the waters.  And it is physically draining.

Still, Jesus give Peter an ‘invitation’ to go where He is leading.  As always, Jesus does not coerce.  He asks. What is St. Peter’s response to the invitation?

We’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing… It is a statement of fact which the Lord already knew, but Peter felt the need to re-state.  Peter continues—nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.  In other words, if there are no fish this time, this is all on You, Lord!

This is not exactly a concrete expression of the deepest, unwavering faith!

But in this Gospel reading we find that the Lord is not going to require that demonstration of unwavering faith.  He intends to provide that which will engender such faith where it was not already.  The catch of fish is so great that their nets were breaking from the weight of the fish.  And because of this extraordinary event, what kind of faith does Peter begin to demonstrate?  He falls at the feet of Jesus.  He does not express confusion.  He does not speak of the Lord’s authority over nature.

No, Peter goes to his sins!  Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!  It is not a rejection like that which came from the people of Gadara when the Lord healed the demoniac.  Rather, it is a recognition that God in His holiness is incompatible with man and his sins.  It is a shout of repentance.

When is the last time that I demonstrated even the imperfect faith of Peter, let alone the robust repentance that comes from observing God’s grace poured out on His creation?  When have I shown that unwavering faith that the love of God for me proves Him deserving of from me?  

Let me seek to show such faith, beginning now!  As our own beloved St. Herman said, From this hour, from this minute, let us love God above all else, and seek to do His holy will.