Last week we spoke of catechism for the need to expand from merely passing on “head knowledge” because that alone was not leading to evangelization. St. Paul said, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed.” In another version, “not by the means of the wisdom of language, wise words which would make the cross of Christ pointless.” (Second Reading)
Our Catholic faith is not static, contained in a book of knowledge. Rather our faith will be the wisdom that write our book of life. Faith stands firmly on strong belief and a complete trust in God’s providence. God generously respond to our faith by coming to be with us in everyday life. This presence is real, tangible and can be felt. Although unseen, we see the effect. Embracing this presence, empowered by the effect, we gradually grow in wisdom to live our life. So, follow.
“Follow me and I will make you Fishers of men”. This is the most basic of our vocation call for us to go and contribute to the lives of others. Almost everyone in this world now know Christ, and this is where now that “head knowledge” need to be coupled with encounters. To fish for men we need to facilitate such encounters. To facilitate we preach the Word of God in terms of the life we live. This life must not “make the cross of life pointless”, where selflessness gives us that capacity to put others first, to love as God does.
To become a Fisher of Men, apart from developing this knowledge of Christ, we must share and testify to bring to life this Word of God. We make unconditional love real through its many fruits: Mercy, forgiveness, selflessness, humility, kindness, generosity among others. We offer the gift of our time to listen, to console, to heal, to affirm, to empower, to be a companion for another in their journey in life. Through being a “Fisher of Men” we become the appointed person through whom God works to touch the lives of those in need. A Fisher of Men demystify this presence of God for others.
A skilled Fisher of Men is like who St. Paul describes, “throwing light on the inner workings of the mystery.” (Ephesians 3:9). A Fisher of Men illuminates life.
A Fisher of Men spends quality time in the personal waters of the spiritually needy. Often the Fisher is a companion during storms helping to pick up the pieces in the aftermath. Amidst the rubble the Fisher is the conduit of this presence of God. The Fisher of Men help the lost to touch and be touched by God. Touch is a tangible dimension of faith; it is healing and empowering, encounters we all need to couple with “head knowledge”. Evangelisation is more telling, more heart felt, in face to face encounters with a fellow person and with God.
“Repent.” This is a call for continued conversion, not a payment of guilt. For both those being fished and those fishing, both have the opportunity through such encounters to purify themselves as they continue to head home on this journey in life. Repenting is like a fisherman mending his net repairing his torn parts. “Come, follow me and I will make you Fishers of Men.”
A Fisher of Men illuminates the life of others:
The people that walked in darkness
has seen a great light;
on those who live in a land of deep shadow
a light has shone.
You have made their gladness greater,
you have made their joy increase;
they rejoice in your presence
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Word of God Sunday