Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Today’s Gospel is a brief but important episode in the story of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus is gathering the men that will become His apostles. To be an apostle means to be “one who is sent away.” Peter, Andrew, James and John are eager to respond to Christ’s call; they follow him “at once.” They will be with Jesus as he teaches, heals, and performs miracles. They will learn from Him, mourn His death, and witness His resurrection. They will be emboldened by Christ to go out and make believers of nations. Three of them will eventually be martyred in carrying out His mission.
I have been blessed to have great examples of faith in my life. These men and women have been the instrument through which Christ has revealed Himself to me. Using the imagery in today’s Gospel, I have been “caught in their net.” As a teacher in a Jesuit high school, the image of being a “fisher of men” is one that I now attempt to carry out daily. If I can praise, reverence, and serve God in all that I do, perhaps I can be an instrument through which God can reach my students. I ask God to help me in this endeavor, all the while being grateful for those which have led me to Him.
-Mr. Kevin Van Winkle is a Social Studies teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE.
Lord, thank you for the gift of those that have helped lead me to You. Please continue to bless them, and also help me be an example of faith for others. With Your grace, allow me to act as Your fisherman. Amen.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!