My family went fishing today. My youngest had not yet caught a fish “in her entire life.” It was a gorgeous day for being outside. It was cool with a breeze, yet sunny. And this morning, the fish were biting! We were at a pond which is for catch-and-release fishing only. I was okay with this since I realize I would have been the one to clean the fish if we had planned to eat any.
My son seemed to have the lucky fishing pole. As soon as his line hit the water, there was a fish on his hook. This started as amazing, but quickly became unbelievable to the rest of the family. While my daughters continued to cast away with no results, my son just kept reeling in the fish. We lost count after 14. I tried to explain to my other children that there are no guarantees with fishing. Sometimes, you catch some, sometimes you don’t. It’s a great lesson in patience.
Of course, the youngest was not pleased. She moved to a different section of the lake and tried to cast further into the deep. She so badly wanted to catch a fish that she decided to give it all she could with her next cast. And that’s how she accidentally cast her entire fishing pole into the lake. Thankfully, her line had a bobber, so we could see exactly where her pole was located. Also, the wind was blowing towards us which meant we might have a chance to recover her pole. Sure enough, another family who was with us managed to “catch” her pole and bring it into shore safely. She went on to catch 4 fish of her own.
All this fishing made me think of St. Peter. I bet he loved the outdoors. I think he learned patience from fishing. He made his living doing something that at times can be quite frustrating. I wonder what was going through his mind when Jesus invited him to, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” In Luke’s Gospel, it explains that Jesus told Peter and his partners James and John where to cast their nets. Amazingly, Peter although grumpy and tired, simply obeyed, and the catch was so abundant it filled two boats. That’s why they left their nets and followed Jesus to become fishers of men. I don’t think they really had a clue as to what that term “fishers of men” meant. But, they knew abundance when they saw it. And their hearts must have been open to Christ’s call.
I pray that I become more obedient in my life. I pray that I recognize abundance and who provided it for me. I pray that my heart remains always open to Christ’s call. I pray that those closest to me respond to that call, too.