Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt 4:12-23)
On this Third Sunday, in Ordinary Time, we observe the fulfillment of Isaiah in the most likely place, a region of non-believers. The ministry of John the Baptist had just transitioned to Jesus, and Jesus was looking to evangelize. Who did Jesus find? He found Peter, Andrew, James, and John, the first Apostles. They were fishing and unaware that Jesus was fishing for evangelizers in a land of Gentiles. Jesus knew who the talented ones were to fish for man and woman to carry out His mission.
To be a fisher, you must understand baiting, casting, patience, and perseverance. Jesus knew these traits all too well, leading the four men to withdraw from their boats and follow Him immediately.
We are not called to discipleship to fulfill the mission with talents we don't possess; we realize the skills we have to achieve the mission of evangelizing to the ends of the earth. This mission to evangelize is what God calls each of us to take part in. I ask you the question, why don't more people use their talents to be fishers of people? It is a hard call to answer; think of the first four Apostles' answers. It was immediate and without discernment. They left behind everything, material goods, and their parents, to lead a life of sacrifice. The first Apostle signifies what you can become.
What type of men and women does Jesus call to the mission? Pete, Andrew, James, and John were not impoverished; they were fishers in a robust and profitable industry. Jesus calls average men and women to the mission; you know, folks with petty ambitions, short-term goals, and unsure direction. Jesus also calls men and women longing for God to be passionate, honest, and friendly. These individual virtuous and not-so-virtuous characteristics are gathered to grow for God in discipleship. God will give you the best of Him when we give the best of our talents to others because what we do now in life is not satisfying unless we serve God. When we become evangelists, we are called to change our direction to live a new way of thinking and acting.
The challenge is determining your vocation or what God calls you to do. When you learn who you are and your talents, you can choose what you can do.
God has called me to the Permanent Diaconate. It is a call to leave everything in life as I know it, and journey into the unknown. Am I prepared to bring the Gentiles to Christ? I don’t feel that I am, but my response is to withdraw from my boat and follow Him immediately.
Where are you being called? Just as Jesus is written in the law, so are you.
Author: Darron C. Woodus, MACM, Pastoral Associate, Diaconate Candidate, Archdiocese of Baltimore