Sunday Gospel Reflection August 11
The following is an excerpt from Cora Evans’ private revelations found in her book, The Refugee from Heaven, selected as a reflection for the Sunday Gospel passage Luke 12:32-48.
Simon stood quite still as though stunned. Never had he heard such a voice nor had he ever been so praised before. Most men remained silent in his presence, for was he not the Captain, and did not men out of respect wait for him to speak first? He asked, “Who are you, sir? Thank you for what you have said, but I am sure I do not deserve your praise.”
The Stranger's voice was even more quiet than before as He answered, “I am Jesus of Nazareth. It is an honor, captain, to speak with you.”
As Simon opened his mouth to make reply, he was interrupted by shouts and commotion on board his ship. As he peered through the rays of the golden sun he could see two men lashing at each other with long, silver fish, using them as though they were swords.
Silent indignation flashed from Simon's eyes as he shouted a command to cease. The men did not hear him. Angrily, he then strode through the surf and swam quickly to the ship.
Grasping a low hanging, knotted rope, he swung himself over the bow. Without questioning either fighter, he picked up one from the deck and hurled him into the sea. The other he ordered back to work. It was too bad the Stranger from Nazareth had seen that breach of discipline, but then he had handled it well enough.
Once more on shore Simon brushed sand and water from his feet and said, “I’m sorry about that disturbance, but it was easily taken care of. However, now I shall have to be going, for there is a matter in town that demands my attention. Good day, Sir. I hope I shall see you again.”
He started away. He was filled with satisfaction over the way he had handled the fight and in the kind nod the Nazarene had given him. He was glad his countrymen respected him for his many virtues of justice and charity. It gave him a nice, warm feeling.
“Captain,” the Nazarene said, “I know you are a man in favor of strict justice, and I was just wondering whether or not you threw the right man overboard?”
Simon came to a sudden stop. Had he been just? He hadn't allowed either man to explain what had happened. He suddenly became uneasily aware of rash judgment.
Without a glance at Jesus, Simon crossed the beach and once more plunged into the sea. When he reached his ship he climbed aboard, hand-over-hand. Finding the other offender, he quietly and without a word threw him over the side. His crew looked at him in amazement. They had never before seen their captain in such hasty action, nor was he usually so easily angered. What in the world was the matter with him?
In answer to their questions Simon said, “I was profoundly disturbed with the thought that I had acted unwisely and unjustly toward the first offender by throwing him overboard, while the second offender merely resumed his work. Now, I have treated them with equal justice.”
He buffeted his way to shore. Once there he nodded cheerfully to Jesus as if to say, Sir, justice has now been carried out. You need worry no more about it.
“Are you sure, captain,” Jesus asked, as Simon once more started away, “that it was a fight, or was it simply boisterous fun among happy men?”
Simon froze as though brought abruptly to attention by a commanding officer. His pride now hurt, he began to wonder why he should be so questioned and disturbed by a Stranger. Turning to Jesus he asked in a tone of agitation, “Why are You, a Nazarene, concerned with what I do? And why do You ask about my men?”
Jesus answered calmly, “A man of justice is disturbed only when he feels guilty of an unjust act pertaining to a question involved at the moment. A just man has a fine conscience – so fine it cuts his soul with the fierceness of a flaming sword when justice is bruised. No one escapes it, for it wounds each man's soul according to the depth of his love for God.”
He then extended His arms in blessing. “Simon,” He continued, “be absorbed in God. His blessedness of joy, love, and charity are yours. Pray to be a fisherman of souls.”
This strange blessing frightened Simon. Suddenly, however, he became aware of an interior feeling of subjection toward the Nazarene where before he had felt a growing animosity. He relaxed his fists at his sides and wondered what kind of power this Man had.
Without speaking, Simon returned again to his ship. He found the two offenders and demanded the reason for their fight. To his surprise he learned it had not been a fight at all, but a mimic duel in which the men had used fish instead of swords. When Simon heard this, he swallowed a little and then apologized as he gave them permission to continue their sport.
This time he was not quick of step when he returned to shore. He was thinking deeply about what had happened and about the holy words of wisdom that the Stranger had spoken. He looked around quickly and discovered Jesus had left the shore and was walking along the path toward the village. He hurried to overtake Him.
The following is an excerpt from Cora Evans’ private revelations found in her book, The Refugee from Heaven, selected as a reflection for the Sunday Gospel passage Luke 12:32-48. This book can be purchased here.