In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus calls his first Apostles. I think there must be something meaningful in the fact that they were fishermen. These men didn’t simply enjoy fishing as a hobby. They made their livelihoods from the fish they caught in the Sea of Galilee.
What little I know for certain about fishing is that it requires patience. Jesus told these first followers, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17). Their mission of being “fishers of men” is also our mission as followers of Christ today. Just what does this involve?
I think being a “fisher of men” may look a bit different in each of our lives, but I’m certain that it requires patience from all of us. Consider your patient witness…to a spouse or friend who may not share your passion for your faith; to children—your own or those in your classroom—who often try your patience; to the people in your workplace, on the highway, in the grocery store, or in your parish whose values are so clearly of this world and not of the kingdom Jesus came to proclaim. And then there’s the toughest challenge of all—being patient with ourselves.
We’ve long heard that “faith is caught, not taught.” May your witness—however flawed—catch those God is trying to reach through you. Be patient with yourself and others and keep walking the path of faith. Ultimately, the task of catechesis is God’s work to accomplish. Do your part and trust God to do the rest.
Image credit: Laurent LARCHER/CIRIC