Ora et Labora

Ora et Labora

Reflection on the book “Fishers of Men”
by Kevin Hombrebueno

Ordinary men, extraordinary lives. These were the first apostles who heeded the call of the Lord two thousand years ago, and their stories were sources of inspiration to many Christians. Their stories were very personal to me especially when I said “yes” to being a lay missionary. These stories were mostly grounded in Prayer (Ora) and Work (Labora).

On Tito Frank’s book Fishers of Men, I realized two important things that every one of us must know and do—it is to pray and to work. These two go together. One cannot just pray and pray without doing anything and on the other hand, just work and work without putting faith and trust on the Lord. Without the other, our efforts will not go far. This is not just a challenge for me, not just to our priests, to the religious or missionaries but to all of us—as Christians.

On the story of Jesus walking on the water, when Peter asked our Lord if he could come to Him—Jesus affirmed him. Peter believed and trusted our Lord and so he was able to walk on the water. But before he was able to do that, he must first step out of the boat—which means he needed to act. If he believed yet, didn’t act, noting would happen.

Another story was when the apostles were fishing and caught nothing. When they already tried their best and got nothing, they almost lost hope. But Jesus commanded them to lower their nets—they obeyed. There, a great number of fish were caught. It’s just simple—believe and obey. The promise of our Lord awaits!

As Christians, we were commanded by the Lord to fish for men—to make disciples, to evangelize. The calling that the first disciples had is still the same calling that we have. It is also our mission. It is should be our identity. To pray and to work is to evangelize; to evangelize is to live and share Christ.

What a great privilege it is to be co-workers in the salvific mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are made co-workers of God Himself! Unworthy as we are, yet we are called; we answered and were transformed; we are now to proclaim about the Good News of Salvation—we share Christ to ends of the earth.