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Copyright © 2004 - 2022 Boston Catholic Journal. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, permission is granted by the Boston Catholic Journal for the copying and distribution of the articles and audio files under the following conditions:
No additions, deletions, or changes are to be made to the text or audio files in any way, and the copies may not be sold for a profit. In the reproduction, in any format of any image, graphic, text, or audio file, attribution must be given to the Boston Catholic Journal.
 



Boston Catholic Journal

 

 

Fishers of Men:

 

the Universal catholic Vocation
 

“Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. (St. Matthew 4.19)

 

The Hebrew word to follow has a meaning of, “to go behind”, to “go after” without any significant shade of meaning. The phrase and verb are hardly ever found except in the Gospels. The Old Testament scarcely uses them at all in reference to God, but uses them frequently when referring to idolatry. Judaism uses them also to describe the attitude of a disciple.

Jesus called men to His following, to be His followers.

As in the Old Testament this signifies not “to imitate”, not to learn right behavior” but far more — to “to attach oneself to, to obey, to listen to”.

Following Christ

To follow Jesus, to answer His call is to bind oneself to the demands of His Gospel, and most especially to His Cross and glory. In fact after Easter, in the biblical sense it is no longer a matter of following Jesus but of being in Christ, for only in Him do we truly live and have our being.

The supreme Sacrifice of Christ's life on Calvary demonstrates the cost of the Redemption, it shows forth the price and beauty that Jesus paid for our redemption.

But already while He yet walked this earth, Christ “redeemed" so many existing concepts, ideas, bringing them back to their true perspective, value and dignity. The seeds of redemption can be found all through Divine Revelation.

Christ called, He yet calls, not to idolatry, but to liberty, to freedom through the obedience of love. The response of the disciples is set before us as an example that when Christ calls, ours is to follow, to listen and obey, to embrace the gift and say with love and zeal, “Yes!” It has a great deal to do with trust and a willingness to let go.

The Vocations are Many and the Harvest is Great

We often hear the complaints of many regarding a lack of vocations; we observe the hesitant responses, the refusals, but let us ask ourselves the question, “When God calls me in little ways within my daily life, do I actually respond and put into practice what  know the Lord is asking”.

For good or evil, we all in fact influence the choices, the formulation of the responses of others. Let us make certain that we ourselves are actually responding to the call. Jesus is calling each and every one of us, each and every day to that which will lead us into the deepest union with Him. He may be calling us to the vocation of suffering (and, yes! suffering is a vocation to which all are called, and from which none are exempt); even dying and death — He is calling!

We tend to narrow vocation down to the entry of men and women into the Priesthood and Religious life, but God calls in countless ways; many to the married state, the single state, and within them all, to a deeper vocation of union with Himself.

Suffering and Dying are vocations, too: a call within a call; it is part of the whole journey He sets before us, and Christ bids us follow.

Ours is to listen, to bind ourselves heart and soul to Him, and through the surrender of our “Yes!” We too will become "fishers of men”, instrumental in the salvation of souls!

“Oh, that today you would listen to His voice, and harden not your hearts!” 1

Understand by Whom you are called, and to what — and for the sake of so many — in Him, through Him, and for Him!
 

Behold! The field is white to harvest!” 2

______________________________

Psalm 98.4

St. John 4.35

 

A Poor Clare Colettine Nun
 

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Boston Catholic Journal

Totally Faithful to the Sacred Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
 

Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.
(Apocalypse 3.8)

 

Copyright © 2004 - 2022 Boston Catholic Journal. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, permission is granted by the Boston Catholic Journal for the copying and distribution of the articles and audio files under the following conditions:  No additions, deletions, or changes are to be made to the text or audio files in any way, and the copies may not be sold for a profit. In the reproduction, in any format of any image, graphic, text, or audio file, attribution must be given to the Boston Catholic Journal.