After John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.”
As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” At once, they abandoned their nets and followed him. Jesus went a little farther on, and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee; they were in their boat mending their nets. Immediately, Jesus called them and they followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men.
“I will make you fish for people.” These words of Jesus in today’s gospel reading present a striking paradox. For when a fisherman catches a fish and hauls it out of the water, it is with the intention of causing the fish’s death. But it is the very opposite that happens when Jesus enters the picture. For when a person fishes for people and brings them to Jesus, it results in life for these people. And how many thousands of converts in the course of history have witnessed to the fact that they were in the throes of spiritual death until they came to Jesus?
Now in our present age, as in all past ages, there are many who fish for people—but for their own perverse ends. Some fish for people in order to sell them pornography or drugs or racial hate or atheism, etc. Those Christians who fish to bring people to God are in constant competition with others who fish to bring people to ruin and despair. Let us not be naïve in this respect. We are not alone in this fishing enterprise. And nowadays we need God’s guidance more than ever before if we want to win in this cosmic conflict.
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