4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." 6 And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
As to the fact that our Lord and God Jesus Christ appeared after the Resurrection to Peter and John and their companions, and commanded them to cast the net on the right side of the ship, and to catch a multitude of great fish, making up the number of 153, I say in brief language that its meaning is this. The gospel related that that night after toiling greatly they caught nothing whatever; and this narrative, when transferred to spiritual and suprasensual sublimity, suggests to us that before our Saviour's coming there was night in this world, for human affairs were devoid of the knowledge of God, being devoted to the service of gods falsely so-called; but, when a kind of rising and dawn of light took place, when our Saviour came and rose and shone upon those on earth, like a 'Sun of righteousness' (this the divine Scripture says), then the apostolic net was let down, and made a great catch of men, and for this reason had the right side allotted to it. For Moses and the prophets, when they let down the fishing-net, during the past night, caught the people of Israel only, while these often jumped out of the net and served demons, and the present state is understood to be the same as if they had not been caught. Wherefore, also they left for the apostles the most honourable place on the right, while they themselves occupied the left station, which according to our custom is inferior in honour. But in respect of the fish which were caught the number 100 shows the great multitude from the nations who were caught by the proclamation of the gospel; and, when Israel did not succeed, the teaching of the gospel seized that which is perfect;for the number 100 is perfect, being composed of 10 times 10. Wherefore also our Saviour likened all rational creation to 100 sheep, saying that 99…..
Taken from letter LXXXVI. – OF THE SAME FROM THE 70th LETTER OF THE 6th BOOK OF THOSE WRITTEN AFTER BANISHMENT, WHICH WAS ADDRESSED TO SERGIUS THE COUNT AND archiatros