January 9, 2021

What does Jesus mean when he says that he will make his disciples “fishers of men” (Mt 14:9)?  Think about how the world works.  English teachers train young writers to start with a “hook” to get their readers’ attention.  A girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse may refer to their significant other as a great “catch.”  Companies hire marketing departments to “reel in” potential customers. All of that is well and good, simply part of the rhythm of life in the world, but Jesus wants to elevate our vocation to some nobler and more enduring vision of the human person.  Thus, he will take the same image of fishing, but change the rules of the game.  Instead of bait, he will ask us to give our very flesh and blood. Instead of trying to get something, he will invite us to give of ourselves. Instead of pulling others to us, he asks us to take the risk of going out to where they already are. To be a “fisher of men,” indeed, means that no fish will ever be too small, that there will never be one that gets away, that our “big fish story” will always impress, and that we will spend eternity “gone fishing” in the communion of saints.  In this way, we will discover that our salvation is synonymous with the miraculous catch that is constantly unfolding in the cosmos (cf. Jn 21:1-14).  Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

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