My father loves to fish. Me, not so much. Let me explain: it´s fine with me to sit the whole day (or night) with fishing rod in the water, even if I will fish only old shoe, it’s not a lost time. The difficult part of fishing is that if you want to eat what you have caught, you have to kill it, or let it die. You have to pull a fish from the water, from its “comfort zone”, from its home, that even if dirty and it’s difficult to survive there, it’s still its home.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus “fishes” Simon Peter, his brother, and their companions. He pulls them out of their “comfort zones” that, maybe not perfect (how hard is must have been to fish whole night and catch nothing!), but it’s the only thing they know. Simon resists, the task seems too big for him. He cannot see himself in the newness that Jesus came to offer. But it is necessary, so that in his turn, he can become “a fisher of men”. Simon’s vocation from now on will be the one of “pulling” men out of their dark and difficult lives to offer them something new. But this change brings death.
The same way a fish dies when it’s pulled out of the water, we also seem to die when we are pulled from the comfort of our little lives arranged according to our measure. It seems like death to off the survival mode and begin to live something new, different, full. But every growth means also pain and death. A Christianity that does not pass through the cross, cannot end in resurrection. Sometimes it is difficult to believe that this pass is worth it: why should I make effort if it’s not so bad, after all. To a child who is being born, the experience of its birth has to seem like the end of all. And it is only the beginning. And there will be more deaths on the journey. And all of them will be necessary to achieve the fulness of life.
Fr. Francisco Palau Community