The Net, The Boat, and The Light


14 January 2018. Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Reflection (Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon)

During one of the youth camps I facilitated a few years back, we had an encounter with a fisherman who was mending his nets after a night of fishing. We observed how he meticulously mended his nets seemingly preparing early for the next fishing trip. He was checking the net for tears and folding them in a very strategic way for easy and effective throwing when catching fish. We asked him how important the folding was, and he told us that his day’s catch depends on how sturdy the net is and how effective the throw will be, and it heavily depends on the folding. But he added that no matter how good the net and the throw are, if the situation is not right, he cannot catch anything. The best time to catch fish is when it is new moon and the sea is in total darkness and the only light source is the light on his boat. The fish are attracted to the light and draw near the boat. The fisherman would just have to time the throw perfectly with his prepared net and he can have a great catch.

My encounter with the fisherman reminds me of what my role should be as a future pastor. I mend nets, fold them as soon as I use them, ever ready for the opportunity to catch “fish”, waiting for the right opportunity. My boat is the Holy Mother Church that sails and navigates through rough and dark waters carrying the Light – Jesus. Scattered “fish” gather under this Light beside the boat and all I have to do is throw the net that I have prepared to catch them. The Gospel for today tells us how Jesus, the Kingdom of God at hand, became flesh, visible and palpable for all to witness.  He is the Light bore by His Church that He, Himself, founded and entrusted to the apostles, sailing through the rough waters of the world that has scattered the “fish” in darkness. As Christians, we are fishers of men always mending our nets ready for the perfect catch.

The Gospel Today
Mark 1: 14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

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 left 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.

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