Fishing has always been something that I have enjoyed. Well I enjoy it as long as there is someone to take the fish off the hook. It can be a long day on the water, if the fish aren’t biting, but if they are, it’s exhilarating! Today boats are equipped with sonar that can locate fish, but without modern equipment it’s more of a challenge. One must know the behaviors, the depth at which they inhabit, appetite etc of the fish you are seeking. The weather has to be correct, not before a front, but after a rain, morning and evening are best,… fishing entails a bit of luring, guesswork and patience. Even if everything is right, the fish may not be biting.
St. Peter was a fishermen, so when he was called to be a fisher of men he knew what that meant. He’d have known that building the church would have its challenges. He would need to know, what we were hungry for, how we lived and human nature. He would realize that reeling us in could be difficult, some of us would have teeth, to bite back, and some would get away. He would understand that he may not “catch” anyone all day. Storms of life may make us hungry or cause us to hide, and even if on the boat, we might still find a way to flee.
Bringing others to Christ can be hard. Perhaps the biggest lesson Peter learned was that when Jesus told him to cast his nets into the sea, even though he hadn’t caught a thing; with Jesus’ guidance his full nets were breaking. Most of us are not in a position to fill nets in large numbers, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can gather them one at a time.