Reflection on the book “Fishers of Men”
by Leean Rosal
I have a book that has been in my keeping since I was nine. Entitled, “Do You Love Me?” it tells the story of Peter: how he was called by the Lord and how he became a zealous evangelizer. For the longest time, I’ve seen myself in Peter’s shoes: unworthy, unequipped and yet still called, chosen and commissioned. If there was one thing that was evident in Peter’s life that drove him to devote his entire life to Jesus and the mission he was entrusted with it would be grace.
Grace is a freely-given gift by God that enables an ordinary person to extraordinarily and zealously proclaim that “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mk 1:15) While the task of evangelization requires that we put in our loving efforts, because it is primarily divine work then whatever endeavor if not aided by grace, it will surely fail. Grace embraces us and reminds us that the mission entrusted to us to saturate the world with the Word is of God’s and we are but mere instruments. Grace reminds us that we are not entitled to be doing this magnificent work of snatching souls from the devil and winning it for Christ; we are simply privileged to be even anointed by the Lord to “do greater things” than he did. (cf. Jn 14:12)
It has been three years since God called me to the ministry of teaching and preaching. I never saw it at first that I will be speaking to crowds even outside of community. Each time I would give a talk, I would always pray: “Your grace and love is all I need.” Each time, too, grace never failed me. I would always end amazed and in awe that God used a sinful person like me to speak of who He is.
Just before Peter was commissioned, he responded three times: “Yes Lord, you know that I love You.” Three times, too, Jesus commanded, “feed my sheep.” I believe what made Peter respond was simply a result of grace. Three times he may have rejected Jesus but three times, too, Peter allowed himself to be embraced by grace. This is the same call for us, too, the same call we are called to do: be embraced by nothing, absolutely nothing but grace.