Reflection on the book “Fishers of Men”
by Madel Punzalan
Everyone is called to evangelize. As followers of Christ, it will always be our duty, our call and our privilege to do the work of evangelization. This is not just a mere calling out from the shore but this is actually who we are. However, there are times when we fail to fully embrace and live out this great calling to be the fishers of men. As evangelizers, there are times that we are the ones who need to be evangelized. After reading this book written by our Servant General, I came to realized three things:
First, we have to always connect to the Master Fisherman. Our relationship with Jesus Christ has to come first! This will be our foundation that can be achieved by means of our continuous effort to spend time with Him through prayer. As prayer leads us to God so can prayer also help us to love and serve others. We will always be in tune to what our Master is telling us to do if we are always connected with Him. We will always be reminded how blessed we are because of this calling. He’ll guide us every night whenever we seem to have a hard night of fishing. Hence, we will also know when to put out into the deep and/or when to lower down our nets. He will take us back to our boats whenever we fell down to the extreme coldness of the sea. We will always be reminded that we are weak and our own labors will never be enough. That after everything we’ve been doing and we’ve been giving, only God can make all things happened. After all, He’s the only One who can mend our damaged nets and dented boats. We have to have a deep relationship with Him for it will also lead us into a deeper conversion to be better fishermen of this present time.
Secondly, we have to always equip ourselves as we go fishing. Sharing Christ to the whole world will never be an easy task. Equipping ourselves with the knowledge and skills for evangelization is good but to imitate the Master is the best thing we should always strive for. We need to realize our complete dependence on God. In order to share Christ, we have to be like Christ. And that is the best preparation we can do as fishers of men. This book reminded me to continue to be holy like Christ. Holiness is not an alternative. It is our ultimate goal as it will lead us to Jesus and it will also help us to lead others to Him. Living a life of holiness makes us true fishers of men. This will help others see the word of God in our lives. It’s not about what we have or what we can do but it is about who we are that makes us true followers of Christ.
Lastly, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. We’ll never have a big catch if we will solely do the work. The net full of hundreds of fish will never be lifted by a single person. As one community, it is also our duty to be one in evangelization. In our differences, we find our complementarities. In our differences, we find unity because we are all children of God who aims nothing but to serve Him for the rest of our lives.
We just have to give our response and God will supply everything we need. As a product of a broken family who once was lost in a deep cold sea, I have never imagined to be part of God’s league of fishermen. I have seen how His greatness moved me from who I was to who I am now. His unfathomable love changed me and I just can’t help but to abundantly spill out His love to others who are also quenching for it. The Master of Fishermen has called us. We remember our past. We remember who we were but now; let us cooperate with God to be who we should become more! We have seen the Lord in our lives. And it’s now our time to help others see Him as well. This calling is urgent and it may shake us beneath our feet. But be affirmed that when God calls us, He will always take care of us. Give your Yes and God will do the rest.