Rom 10,9-18 / Mt 4,18-22
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they le their boat and their father and followed him.
IN OTHER WORDS
Raised up in a fishing community, I had direct encounters with fishermen. Using mostly traditional practices, they possessed exceptional skills and qualities, including strong body physique and navigational discernment and expertise in various weather conditions.
No wonder that Jesus chose the first four apostles from a fishing village to be FISHERS OF PEOPLE. Despite lack of education and training, they were expert fishermen. One of them was Andrew, the saint we remember today – the “ first called/ first chosen”. In John’s Gospel, he is portrayed as bringing news to Jesus. During the feeding of the multitude he said to Jesus, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” (6:9). Together with Philip, Andrew also told Jesus of some Greeks who worshipped at the Passover feast (12:22). But before this, Andrew underwent a full program of discipleship. So, when Jesus finally called him to be a fisher of men, he sensed the urgency and immediately left his boat and father and followed him.
Everyone is called to follow Jesus who expects an immediate response. We are to be like the fishermen who possess strong arms and can read the signs of the times. Strong arms, not to hurt but to hold and carry people towards God. Reading the signs of the times, we should not mislead but lead others in the right direction. In a dark night, we are challenged to go back to the shore where Jesus is waiting. We need to know, follow, and recognize HIM like Andrew did when he heard the witness of John about Jesus as the Lamb of God. In that way, we can bring others closer to HIM and be a TRUE WITNESS.
- Fr. Victor Florida, Jr., SVD | Mangyan Mission, Calapan, Or. Mindoro
The Word in other words 2016
An annual project of Logos Publications, The WORD in Other Words Bible Diary contains daily scripture readings and reflections written by priest, brothers, and sisters of the three congregations founded by St. Arnold Janssen (the SVD, SSpS, and SSpSAP). It hopes to serve as a daily companion to readers who continually seek the correlation of the Word of God and human experience.