Life as a fisherman at sea, perhaps more than in other occupations, must lead I think to a deep appreciation of the fragility and uncertainty of existence, and must develop a strong sense of the dependency of daily living on the forces of nature and the mercy of God. Certainly the occupation requires courage in the face of danger and the unknown, fortitude, persistence and independence, as well as physical and mental stamina. Trust is also required – trust in God to protect and guide their endeavours; and trust in each other, because each individual’s economic and physical well-being depends on the joint actions and team work of all others aboard. I wonder if Christ chose so many fishermen for his apostles to establish and build his Kingdom because of these inherent characteristics. For these qualities came to be essential traits in the early Christians, and through these strengths and the power of the Holy Spirit the community of the early church blossomed out of firm foundations.

At the close of the gospel passage Christ gently rebukes the disciples for their failure to have complete trust in Him. Let’s pray that we might grow stronger in both the characteristics shown by the disciple-fishermen and in our faith in Christ.

Then we too can build a community rooted in trust in each other and in Christ, and bring His message of salvation to others through the witness of our lives.