Fishers of Men

Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. – Mark 1:17-18

call the midwife

The Anglican nuns from the awesome PBS television program Call the Midwife.

I’m probably not going to be able to make a meaningful connection from yesterday’s Gospel to my life, but I simply love that particular Gospel story, and “meaningful” is not particularly in my repertoire anyway. However, it never has failed to move me and amaze me that Peter and Andrew and James and John dropped what they were doing — that being fishing — to go follow this charismatic Jesus, simply because he asked.

It must have made Mrs. Simon Peter simply furious. “You’re doing WHAT?” I can imagine her telling him. “And just how are we supposed to get food on our table, Mr. On-This-Rock-I-Will-Build-My-Church?”

“I always thought he was capricious and temperamental,” his mother-in-law likely sniffed.

But, “I’ll make you fishers of men,” Jesus told them. Compelling proposition.

I always wondered if they had heard stories about this man and the things he preached and so were drawn to him. Or was there just something about Jesus that appealed to them and earned their immediate trust? There was no world-wide web or Facebook or Instagram. I don’t imagine word traveled very quickly. Still, even without social media, gossip mills were present from the beginning of time. Biblical scholars probably know the answer to this question, having studied the whole matter thoroughly.

Maybe Mary and Simon Peter’s mother-in-law were in the same PEO group. (Don’t worry; I’m watching carefully for bolts of lightning.)

In his homily, our deacon talked about how God calls us all every day and we need to listen for God’s call and answer him. Makes sense to me.

But I have to tell you that in my formative years in Catholic elementary school, many a nun told us that God calls some lucky people to serve as nuns and priests.  And if God calls, they warned us, YOU MUST SAY YES.

I’m sure all of my classmates went home eagerly awaiting the call from God to serve as a priest or nun. I’m ashamed to tell you, my friends, (and I PROMISE this is a true story) I would lie in bed at night and pray to God that he would NOT call me to be a nun. I literally would say, “Dear God, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t ask me to serve you that way. I DON’T WANT TO BE A NUN. Thank you, and Amen.

He never called.  I’m pretty sure he didn’t want the likes of me.

Having said all of this, I will leave you with a song from one of my favorite bluegrass singers, Rhonda Vincent. The song moves me beyond belief….


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