Cast Your Nets

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him. –Mark 1:16-20

Do you ever feel like your life is one big assembly line? You do the same things every day at the same time. And, just like the movie “Groundhog’s Day” we wake and shower, have breakfast and drive to work, sit at the same desk, do the same tasks and return home to the same easy chair. Life becomes a comfortable rut.

I imagine it was the same for Simon and Andrew and James and John. Every day they would go to the same lake, cast their nets, bring in the fish, and mend their nets only to do it again the next day. They were fishermen and life became a comfortable rut, casting their nets over and over again.

So, when Jesus approached them, they were busy earning a living, doing what they did best, what they were trained to do, a life that had become a comfortable rut.

But, when Jesus said, “Come follow me!” Simon and Andrew immediately abandoned their nets and followed Jesus who promised to make them fishers of men.

The same was true for James and John. They left behind their livelihood, their father, Zebedee and their crew and followed Jesus.

“Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). –John 1 40-42

Why would they do this? They weren’t poor, they had good jobs and we making a good living as fishermen. They gave up everything they had to follow Jesus.

Are we willing to do the same?

As we cast the nets of our daily routine, is Jesus calling you to follow him? Is he asking you to become a fisher of men?

We know from the gospels that Andrew had been searching for God and a meaning to his life. He was a disciple of John the Baptist who introduced Andrew to Jesus.

They were not concerned with what they gave up, but what they were to gained. Each of them was following a deep desire for God in their lives. Nothing that Jesus asked of them was in conflict with this deep desire.

And, they truly did become fishers of men. In Acts 2, we read that Simon Peter brought 3,000 people to believing in Jesus in one day.

“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.” –Act 2:41

Isn’t that what everyone desires in their life, a relationship with God?

Is Our Lord calling you to serve Him? Is He asking you to become a fisher of men? Are you willing to share your faith with family, friends, co-workers and even strangers? Good question, right?

For some of us the call is deep and loud! Entering the priesthood, religious life, or full time ministry might be the message. For others, it might be simply to get involved with an apostolate. Working with the poor and homeless, jail ministry, teaching religious education, or any of a huge number of possible directions can be your way to “cast your net” for the glory of God.

Following Jesus goes beyond Sunday mass and being a good person. It requires that we use our talents and abilities, whatever they may be, to help others in their search for God.

Take a moment this week to reflect of Jesus’ call. When Jesus asks, “come follow me,” don’t think about what you might have to give up, but what you have to gain in the kingdom of God. Then, don’t hesitate, the apostles didn’t! Decide to respond to that deep desire for God in your life.

Imagine a world where all Christians were “casting their nets” and becoming fishers of men.

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