Luke 5: 1–11
Once, when he was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God.
He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.
When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.”
Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.”
It was no sooner said than done – a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.
Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, co-workers with Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him.
As modern day disciples, our job is to attract others to Christ and His beloved Church. We have to show by our example and enthusiasm, by our common unity and vision, that we have something worth dedicating our whole lives to. That something is Jesus. We’ve got to get folks “hyped up” once again to falling in love with Jesus Christ. That was a gift of the old Church. That’s something we have to reinvent and recover once again.
“Do not be afraid. From now on you will be catching men.” In essence, what Jesus was saying to them was: “channel your efforts and energy in a new direction. Bring that love and enthusiasm that you found in fishing into your new call.” These words and the mandate are spoken to us as well. Reach out and share your love for Jesus and faith in His power with others…with strangers. By your words and example, attract people to Christ. That’s how the Kingdom of God grows!
Oh Lord, make us the best ‘fishers of men’ as we strive to draw others into the nets of your infinite love!