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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
(Part 118)

FISHERS OF MEN – 4

September 5, 2019
Today’s gospel: Luke 5:1-11


The 1990s were the heady days of rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization, where we “caught a great number of fish” (v.6). However, the 2000s were a period of decline, where our membership declined from year to year. Then the 2010s were a period of relative stagnation, where our evangelization stalled, as we “worked hard all night but have caught nothing” (v.5a).

But the call of the Lord remains the same. We are to “be catching men.” (v.10c). And God is the One to provide the fruit. Simon and the fishermen had caught nothing, but at Jesus’ command, they caught a great number of fish.

But we have to do it Jesus’ way. We have to be docile to the Spirit, the agent of evangelization. What do we need to do?

First, we must be humble and fully dependent on God. We need to know that on our own, being sinful, we are unworthy to be God’s instruments and ineffective in doing His divine work. When Peter saw the miracle, “he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, ‘Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.’” (v.8). Jesus of course knows this, but uses us anyway. What is important is that we know this, so that our posture before God and in the face of great harvest is one of humility. Apart from God we are nothing. But with God, we are destined for greatness.

Second, we must not be afraid. “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” (v.10b). We need to boldly go as holy warriors into the world, engaging a powerful enemy, speaking prophetically, standing for our principles, pursuing our mission, ready to suffer, always rejoicing.

Third, Simon and the others “left everything and followed him.” (v.11). Our work of evangelization and mission must be a priority. We must see it as the most important work of a missionary Church. Our goal is the most noble and lofty, working at the salvation of souls. We must be ready and willing to invest our whole selves, including our time, talent and treasure. We commit our families to the service of the Lord.

So we are called to do rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. Jesus’ directive is still the same. “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” (v.4).

* * *


Note: My very first book was “Fishers of Men,” which expounded on this particular gospel passage of today (Luke 5:1-11). That was way back over two decades ago. Today, the principles expounded on are even much more relevant. How can we get back to massive evangelization? Simple. Do it God’s way. Do you know how? Read the book and find out.

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