Tonight (Last Night) it was a cool night so I decided to go get some Hot Cider and go to the beach and sit and just escape the world for a while. It was just after sunset and there was a nice cool breeze. For some reason this is the kind of night that just makes God become more a live for me but in reality it is I become more receptive to His presence. I started to watch further up on the beach a group of three men fishing. It brought to mind two bible passages.
The first is from Matthew 4: 18-20
“As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him.”
The Second is from Luke 5: 1-10
“While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking.When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
I have always liked both of these readings from the Bible. I have even blogged about being "Fishers of Men", but felt a deeper connection and as I said early on that there will be times where we have to revisit what we believe so we can come to a deeper understanding. They have always ignited that spark in me to follow Jesus and cast out my net in the deep and be a fisher of men. There are times that idea of dropping everything and just follow Jesus is all that I want to do. At times I have felt the most alive when I think about that. That pure sense of serving only the Blessed Trinity and becoming not of this world but becoming one of the voices in the desert crying out. I think about what it must have been like to sit on the shore and hear Jesus speak and to witness Him call the Apostles, then to put aside their own wants and desires and cast their nets into the deep and the nets were over filled. As I am typing this I must admit that my eyes are filling with tears because I do not know if I would have been able to do that then or even now. Can I do this? Can I drop everything and truly and fully follow my Lord into the deep? Is that “deep” for me the Priesthood? or a life in the church?
As I watched the fisherman tonight a lot of thoughts came to my mind. Then as those passages came to mind and mixed with the thoughts I came to an understanding that I never focused on before. In Luke, it was not until Jesus spoke to the people and they heard the “Word of God” that they cast their nets into the deep and they were filled. The same is for us today. Unless people hear the “ Word of God “ they will not be “caught” in the net of salvation. It is our job to help to evangelize and spread the Gospel. At the end of mass we are asked to to do this. We need to always be casting our lines out there into the deep. I watched them for about an hour and during that time I watched as they thought they had a bite and reeled in the line to just see no fish and other times it was no fish and no bait. I know how frustrating that is because I do like to fish myself at times. It is the same thing we go through when we evangelize. There are times we have thought people got the message but we realize that they not only did not bite but left the “bait” but there are those times that they did not bite but the “bait” is gone. It is in that moment, understand that means they took what you said or did with them and it will be digested in their soul. You may never see that person again but know you played the part you needed to. They may want more of the word or deed because what you put out there. The Holy Spirit will work but we have to allow Him to work in us and through us. No matter what the out come of what they reeled in or didn’t reel in, they continued to use fresh bait, and cast out their lines again and again and again.
For all of us how we follow Jesus into the deep to cast out our nets can be different. He calls us to follow Him and in that calling our “Deep” can be discovered. What kind of net we cast can be different as well and maybe not a net at all even. Maybe it is a fishing pole because you are meant to focus on one person at a time. You may be great with that one on one time with a person and that is your calling. Others may be able to talk to many, and they come away with many wanting more. It may be a talent that your voice as you sing brings a persons attention to the words and that speaks to them. Only you know whats the “deep” for you and how you are to cast out.
I left there feeling what can be best expressed as a “Spiritual Rush”. There were moments that tears started to form because I want to know Him more deeply. I became focused on the words He said “Come and follow me, I will make you fishers of men”. They were to become the First Priests of the Church. Peter was to become our first Pope. They did not have an ounce of knowledge of what was to come and yet they left everything. Everything that “We”, the Catholic Church, have become have come from a simple three letter word we use today, “Yes”. From Mary’s yes, to Joseph’s, to the Apostles, to the Disciples, to the Saints, and all the way down to us today. A simple word that carries a deep commitment to love and serve our God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and the Church.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you cast your net into the deep.