“To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living, but existing.” - Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Turin, Italy, 1922)
(Gospel Text: MK 1:14-20)
After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.
We see that Christ called Simon and Andrew, who were lowly fishermen, followers of an occupation that did not receive a whole lot of attention or encouragement. Yet Christ, the perfect teacher, called on two fishermen in today’s gospel text to become his first “fishers of men.”
Asking a group of fishermen to be one's disciples does not look like a successful plan. One would think that as an emerging Jewish leader, Jesus would have included members of the Sanhedrin, Pharisees, or teachers of the Law among his first disciples. It would have been pragmatic to select a few people who had political or social influence. Jesus did none of those things.
Instead, he sought people who were laborers, honest and unsophisticated.
From the moment of our baptism, we have embarked on the path of Christian discipleship. Occasionally we have strayed from the right road. Sometimes we have fallen. At other times, we have moved forward steadfastly, trusting in the grace of God to guide us.
Like the first disciples, each baptized Christian is too called to be a “fisher of men”. Do not be discouraged, wherever you are, because no matter what you do or who you are, you have already been given the most prestigious gift that any human being can receive: God’s love and grace with no price tag!
Always remember, if you keep throwing out the net, Jesus will provide the fish. Those who fish a lot catch a lot of fish.