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Mass prep – 3o seconds/3 points: ‘Fisher of men’ understood biblically

fisherman’s ring – en

© ALESSIA GIULIANI / CPP

Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 02/05/22

The word for "to fish" in the Greek illustrates Jesus' encouragement to St. Peter.

The Gospel for this Sunday is Luke 5:1–11

1. The task of Jesus’ disciple

Jesus calls Peter, James, and John. So far, they have been fishing. Now they will be fishing for people. This task is not only for these three apostles, but for all Christians who are disciples of Jesus.

2. Keywords

Jesus 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.

This miracle happened because Peter trusted Jesus and was not afraid of what people thought. Fish are caught at night, not during the day. Fishing in the middle of the day was simply irrational. Moreover, many people who had just been to the lake to listen to Jesus looked with surprise at what Peter was doing. Yet, when Jesus told him to cast the nets, he did. And a miracle happened.

Jesus is now speaking to us in the Scriptures. If we trust Him and do not fear the opinions of others, even though something seems irrational, we will be amazed at the good fruits.

Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.

The verb to fish (in Greek zōgreō) refers not only to “fishing.” It literally means “capturing instead of killing.” In Luke 5:10, it has a figurative meaning: “bringing someone back to life.”

Commenting on this passage of the Gospel in the homily at the inauguration of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI said:

Today too the Church and the successors of the Apostles are told to put out into the deep sea of history and to let down the nets, so as to win men and women over to the Gospel – to God, to Christ, to true life. (…) The net of the Gospel pulls us out of the waters of death and brings us into the splendor of God’s light, into true life.

3. Today

St. Peter used fishing nets. Now, the “net” is the Internet. There, as Christians, we can also “catch people,” that is, “bring someone back to life.” That is why it is so important for each of us to be present on the Internet with the message of the Gospel, because it concerns souls.

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