Reflection on the book “Fishers of Men”
by Nieva Rupido
The practical lesson is clear: The Gospel only becomes a good news when we become persons of God and for others.
Upon reading this book I came to realize characteristics of fishermen that I should never forget as a Christian missionary who aims to be the face of Christ here on earth.
Four characteristics of fishermen: (1) have the sense of purpose (they can focus in one goal); (2) usually full of patience and determination (they know the meaning of waiting and proper timing); (3) have enough courage needed in the rough sea (they have faith) and lastly, (4) willing to work together (they are willing to help one another)
We must never forget that God has chosen us out and dedicated us to be part of the great work as Christians. Evangelization is our call, duty and our privilege. But most of the time we fail to see the beauty of this special commissioning. Why? We focus on the things that we lack; more than the great privilege, what we recognize is our personal insignificance. I am also guilty of this concern. But the message of the book consistently reminded me that “The Lord has find favor in you. He trusts you, don’t miss that.”
Second, fishermen go to the sea with the most essential tools needed in their trip (boat, net, lamp and their selves) and hope to return with a great catch. Indeed, doing this special service will require us to share ourselves in order to meet our goals. Therefore, we should put into our minds and heart that sharing the good news is making Christ known through our very lives. Fishing also entails patience and determination while waiting. So, whenever you lift your nets and found out that there is no catch don’t be afraid to throw it again and wait. Remember, evangelization is not a task that when once tried and it failed, you will just stop. Fishing is a hopeful act of waiting, praying and trusting. “Whenever there is a need, give all that you have to Jesus and let Him do the rest.”
Undeniably, fishing is not always easy. The sea’s basic characteristic is its “unpredictability”. But as God’s fishermen, we are called to embrace all the uncertainties and be confident that your faith will allow you to go through any storm. Yes, failure is natural given that there are several pitfalls present in our service but never forget that the Lord is using all this roughness to teach you something. That in all the heart-felt pain may we never fail to respond accordingly to God’s unending grace.
Lastly, fishermen are known by fishing as a team or a group. This wonderful profession is not done alone. It is meant to be shared. For I realized that, a fisherman is truly living his purpose if he is able to create and encourage others to be a fisherman as well. The work commissioned to us by Jesus is meant to inspire and be shared. The sea is vast and full of different species, same with the world where we are sent to. The call for evangelization is so big, unpredictable and most of the time includes danger but this call should not be stopped by all these factors. In fact, we should be more challenge to see that the thirst you personally felt is present in all the people created by God. Your needs are same with the needs of other. And if you have already found the fountain who satisfies your personal thirst, will you forbid others to be quenched with their personal dryness? Never forget this: “God never left us to carry out this great task in our own strength, but out of His grace He fits us, if we place our lives in His hands.”