(Part 18)




November 30, 2011

Today’s reading: Matthew 4:18-22



At the start of his public ministry, Jesus formed his core group. He called the brothers Simon and Andrew, then two other brothers James and John. They were fishermen, and Jesus made them fishers of men.

Isn’t it amazing how Jesus can transform us for his work, moving us from our worldly experience to a whole new exciting spiritual life and work?

* From musical enthusiasts to music ministries;

* From motivational speakers to proclaimers of the word of Christ;

* From parents taking care of their children to pastors taking care of their spiritual children;

* From employees and entrepreneurs to going about the Father’s business;

* From business and recreational travelers to missionaries;

* From secular friendships to brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ.


There will be many such more calls to discipleship. The challenge is to recognize who it is who calls, and to respond accordingly. To respond is a great challenge, for we will be brought out of our comfort zones, out of doing things we have done all our lives, to a whole new world that will demand hard work and sacrifice.

In fact, the challenge is to look beyond the good to possess the best. The good in our lives is best exemplified by our family and our work (source of livelihood). These, when in good order, are what we joyfully experience from day to day. They are God’s blessings for us.

But these are often also the obstacles to our following Christ and serving him with our all. We often use family and work to excuse our giving less of ourselves to Christ and his work. Such was not the case with the two sets of brothers. For Simon and Andrew, “at once they left their nets and followed him.” (Mt 4:20). For James and John, “immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.” (Mt 4:22). In the call to discipleship, their response showed their putting as greater priority the call to be fishers of men over that of work and family. It should be the same with us.

Now the good news is that it is not a question of “either-or.” Rather, it is “both-and.” We can have it all. We just first have to know our priority. It is God first, and then everything else follows. It is seeking first the kingdom of God, and everything else will be given to us. It is serving God, and God in turn provides for our needs for family and secular work.

Let us wholeheartedly respond to Jesus, not holding back, giving of our time, talent and treasure. Let us continue to be fishers of men.