"From now on you will be catching men."

02-06-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Two weekends ago, we reflected on the essential nature of the Word of God in our lives as Christians. Last Sunday, the travails of the prophet Jeremiah, the rejection of Jesus in His own city of Nazareth on account of their over familiarity with Him, and God’s assurance of perpetual companionship and protection for those persecuted for seeking righteousness was present to us for our reflection. The readings this weekend continue to extend to us the invitation to reflect upon the Word of God. In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah, after beholding God’s glory, felt grossly inadequate and incompetent to be the bearer of God’s Word on account of his “unclean lips,” but having being purged of sin he responded to the Lord’s call to preach His Word thus: “Here I am, send me.”


In the second reading, Paul reminds the Church in Corinth that the written Word of God contains the basic tenets of their faith and that he is privileged to be a purged bearer of the Good News through which they received redemption. The Gospel text for this weekend presents St. Luke’s account of the call of the first four Apostles of Jesus. Luke situates the event at the lake of Gennesaret where Jesus had gone to preach. Pressed by the crowd, Jesus requested the use of Simon’s boat and preached from there after Simon generously off ered it. When the Divine Redeemer finished breaking the Word, he instructed Simon to “put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Now Simon was a professional fisherman, Jesus obviously was not, but being a man of faith and trusting Jesus he did as he was told and caught so much fish that he needed the help from other fishermen to drag his catch to shore. His immediate reaction to this miraculous catch was a sudden, yet honest, realization of his inadequacy and sinfulness reminiscent of Isaiah’s initial objection to God’s call in the first reading. Jesus, however, dispelled his fears and invited Simon and his companions to come follow Him and become “fishers of men.”

If we attempt a deep reflection on this Gospel passage, we are almost immediately confronted with the holy desire to listen to God’s Word displayed by the people in the Gospel. How deep is our desire to hear God? Is it so deep that we feel compelled to seek and cling onto Jesus so He can teach us? We notice too that true discipleship has to begin with a generous disposition, a habitual willingness to place at Jesus’ disposal our time, talent and treasure as Simon Peter did with his boat. However, goodwill is not good enough. We ought to eff ect a conscious fusion of goodwill and generosity of heart with trusting obedience and faith in Christ, leaving behind all that may hinder us from generously, positively and promptly responding to God’s invitation to “fish for men” with and for Him.

May God dispel all the fear that holds us back, may He grant us all the generous heart we need to be true witnesses, and may He continue to call, choose and equip missionaries for His vineyard.

Please be kind and may God bless you.