To Be Fishers of Men

Matthew 4: 18-22

Rom 10:9-18 / Ps 19

“Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him.
(Matthew 4:20)

Thank You, Jesus for helping us see

What once was hard to comprehend:

That in this sea of humanity,

You call us to be fishers of men.

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-22)

Reflection

Today’s Gospel of Matthew reveals the essence of discipleship – obedience based on trust in a greater power. The pillars of Christ’s early church were mere fishermen, rough, undisciplined and uneducated. It was a great leap of faith not only for the Master Who called them, but for these early followers as well, for there was a great chasm that they had to cross from being fishermen to becoming fishers of men. Why did our Lord choose these inexperienced men rather than the rabbis, priests, or scholars of the law who were more literate in Scriptures?

When one considers the billions of souls going about their daily lives without a thought about the purpose of their existence, or about the Omnipotent Creator Who can snuff out lives as easily as He creates them, he really cannot help but say a prayer of thanks that the Lord has called him to Himself, and by His grace has heard and responded. Jesus said, “Many are called, but only a few are chosen.” It’s true that many hear the call and follow, but only a few are bold enough to lead others to His call. It is easy to get caught in the net of God’s Word, but it takes a great leap of transformation to learn how to become the Lord’s fisherman. One must have to go out again and again– sometimes enduring the hardships of the elements – to bring in the catch.

There’s a big difference between fishing as a hobby and fishing for a living. Everyday, on the way to the office (and back), I see these fishermen on the bridge over Davao River, waiting for a bite for their next meal. They certainly don’t look like they are there for the leisure, enduring the heat of the sun and the smog. Maybe that was why our Lord chose fishermen for His first four apostles. Fishermen are used to hardships and going hungry. They are patient and persistent. Their needs in life are simple. And above all, they put their trust in God for their protection and survival. How about you, have you heard His call today?

We praise and thank You, Father, for making us realize that we are called to become fishers of men if we are to be worthy to enter Your kingdom. Your call has given meaning and purpose to our lives. Empower us with Your Gospel to be able to respond positively to the challenge of bringing others to Jesus Christ. Amen.

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