Cast Your Nets Wide
Growing up, over the Christmas holidays, as a family we would always go to the Coast for holidays. Every family did it. Now, depending on what part of the coast you were spending your holidays, there was a chance that you might go fishing. Over the years we probably collected most of the equipment necessary to look like the real deal – from yabby pumps and nets, to tackle boxes. In fact, at one stage, we even owned a little tin runabout with a six horsepower engine.
However, no amount of accessories could hide the fact that, as a fisherman, I was a failure. I don’t know if others had more luck or skill but in their buckets they always seemed to have fish. If I did catch anything, it was always the saddest, smallest, most unlucky fish.
It would have been great to go back to wherever we were spending the holidays and say “Mum, I’ve caught us dinner!” (Overfishing was never a risk when I was involved!)
In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus calling his first disciples who coincidentally happened to be fishermen. They were plying their trade on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus issued the invitation to “Come follow me”. That they dropped everything and followed him would either indicate that they were as hopeless at fishing as me – or – the invitation that Jesus issued was too irresistible to refuse.
Since they were fishermen the challenge to become “fishers of men” makes sense. But how does it make sense for us here in our four Stella Maris communities to see ourselves as “fishers” of men and women, as Jesus calls his first disciples to become?
The reality is that we all possess “nets” that can catch. In whatever oceans or seas we find ourselves in, we can employ our God-given talents and expertise to catch the falling, rescue the endangered, gather in the lost.
The first disciples were very good fishermen – they had to be, otherwise they would starve! We might not see our fishing skills in the same light but that should not stop us from trying to catch in our nets those who need our love, support, understanding or forgiveness. The practical proclamation of the Good News is experienced precisely by others only when we have the courage to cast our nets.
Wishing you a bountiful catch this week!