153 FISH

Acrylic on museum quality masonite

John 21-4:14

“Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them “Children, have you any ffish?” They answered him “No.” he said to them “Cast the net to the right side of the boat and you will ffind some.” So they cast it and now they were not able to haul it in for the quantity of the ffish. The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes as he was stripped for work and sprang into the sea. When they got out on land they saw a charcoal ffire there with ffish lying on it and bread. Jesus said to them “Bring some of the fish that you have caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore full of large ffish, a hundred and ffifty three of them; and although there were so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them “Come and have breakfast. ”Now none of the disciples dared ask him "Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and gave them the bread and so with the ffish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.”

Saint Jerome claimed that the 153 ffish represented all the nations of the earth. 

Truly, Peter “sprang into the sea!” of souls over all the earth along with his disciples. 

Truly, as Jesus told them, they became ‘ffishers of men.’ The boat has always represented the Catholic Church, hence the colours of the boat and church are the same. The upper part of the painting depicts the fruit of these ‘ffishers of men.’ It is a monastery dedicated to St. Timothy, who became the Bishop of Ephesus for some years before being martyred there for the faith. How many monks, religious and other contemplative orders are holding up this troubled world with their prayers! 

I chose St. Timothy also as a nod to the patron who bought this painting and our intimate relationship with the Communion of Saints.


© 2024 Christine Oskirko. All rights reserved.