Vocation Meditation - <br />January 23, 2011 > Vocations.ca

Vocation Meditation -
January 23, 2011

Used with permission from ChristianComputerArt.Com

As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of people." Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James, son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.

At the onset of His public life, Jesus was all set to establish His Church. To prepare this, He called on chosen men to carry out His work of salvation. Jesus found some of them by the Sea of Galilee. He called them to follow Him. They were fishermen!

There is something special about fishermen. Yes, they are ordinary men. But Jesus saw special qualities in them. He invested His choice in them for greater things. Some scholars pointed out that those who are good at fishing must possess the very qualities which make them equally good at "catching' people for the Kingdom of God.

Fishermen possess patience. They learn how to wait patiently until the fish will take the bait. Restlessness and quickness of movement make fish escape the bait. Patience is a quality that best serves in bringing people in. With patience, good results happen because one learns to wait for the right time to allow growth to happen.

They must possess perseverance. They learn never to be discouraged but try and try again to catch fish. Working for the Kingdom means to be ready to try again and again so that conversion to grace and discipleship become possible.

They must have courage. Someone said: "My boat is so small and the sea is so large." Those who make the sea their place of work must be ready to risk and face the fury of the sea and the wind. As Jesus' disciples, they must be ready to face danger in telling people the truth about God and about themselves. Those who take this road do not enjoy smooth sailing.

They must have an eye for the right moment. Fishermen know when to cast and when not to cast their nets. They know when it is hopeless to fish and when it is the best time to fish. Wise teachers and preachers know when it is good to speak God's word and when it is time to be silent and allow God to do the work.

They must also fit the bait to the fish. St. Paul knew what it means to become all things to all people if by any chance he might win some. God's people are different. They do not have the same needs. To 'catch' them, no same approach works all the time. Those who are called to be Jesus' followers must learn the art of shepherding God's people, the art of nurturing their faith and their hopes.

They must also keep themselves out of sight. To catch well, the fishermen must not make their presence too obvious. Neither must they let their shadows be seen. The workers for the Kingdom must learn the art of discipleship: not to seek their own glory, but to help people fix their eyes on Jesus seeking for Christian unity and the glory of God in all things.

Vocation Challenge:
"I will make you fishers of people."
What qualities do I need to acquire to become a true 'fisher' of God's people?

Dear God,
It is true that "my boat is so small and the sea is so large." Yet, you took interest in calling me to bring my boat, my skills and my all to follow Jesus, the Great Fisher of Men. I want to learn from Him and from other disciples, the art of casting my net in the Church. Always make my boat steady and my net ready for the task You set before me each day. Amen.

For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.

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