"If You say so, I will lower the nets." —Luke 5:5
In the Gospels when Jesus speaks of fishing, He often means fishing not only for fish but also for souls (see Lk 5:10). By fishing, Jesus often means evangelization. In today's Gospel reading, Simon and his partners have been fishing "all night long and have caught nothing" (Lk 5:5). In obedience to Jesus, they lowered their nets again for a catch and "caught such a great number of fish that their nets were at the breaking point" (Lk 5:6).
This teaches us several points about evangelization:
- Successful evangelization is a sovereign act of God.
- Great numbers of people give their lives to Christ, often when we least expect it.
- Fruitful evangelization is often preceded by a long period of seeming failure.
- Obedience to Jesus is the key to evangelization.
Are you obeying Jesus in sharing your faith? Are you completely dependent on God, working hard at witnessing for Jesus, undaunted by seeming failure, and expecting by faith great numbers to come to Christ? Those who catch men and women for Jesus are those who keep trying even when they don't see much use in trying. To catch fish we must be caught by Jesus, the ultimate Fisher of men and women (see 2 Tm 2:26; Phil 3:12). Come to Jesus.
Prayer: Father, may I fish where, how, and when You want me to.
Promise: "The wisdom of this world is absurdity with God." —1 Cor 3:19
Praise: Just when Mary was tempted to stop interceding, her prayers for her husband were finally answered.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Evangelization on audio AV 55-1 and AV 55-3 or video V-55.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010
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