Jesus "observed Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea." —Mark 1:16
Jesus called the fishermen, Simon and Andrew, after observing them casting their nets into the sea. When Jesus called them, "they immediately abandoned their nets and became His followers" (Mk 1:18). He called the next two apostles, James and John, while they were putting their nets in order (Mk 1:19). Nets are mentioned three times in Mark's account of Jesus calling the first four apostles. What is the significance of the nets?
From the fish's point of view, nets are traps which take away the fish's freedom and lead to their death. When we follow Jesus, we must abandon our nets. We must repent of sinful patterns in our lives which have trapped us and brought about our spiritual death. Through repentance, we can be free to follow Jesus.
From the fisherman's point of view, nets are essential to his work. Therefore, these nets need to be in order, and the fisherman must cast them into the sea skillfully and frequently. The nets are our evangelistic outreach. To follow Jesus means to be fishers of men and women (Mk 1:17). To follow Jesus without daily and frequently evangelizing is a contradiction.
All Christians must evangelize. Leave the nets of sin and cast the nets of faith.
Prayer: Jesus, may I not let a day go by without telling someone about Your love.
Promise: "In times past, God spoke in fragmentary and varied ways to our fathers through the prophets; in this, the final age, He has spoken to us through His Son." —Heb 1:1-2
Praise: St. Marguerite's life was changed when she looked upon a statue of Mary and, like Mary, also chose to be the handmaiden of the Lord.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our series of tapes on Evangelization on audio AV 55-1, AV 55-3, or video V-55.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008
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