By Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
As I meditated on St. Luke’s gospel story about the fishing expertise of Jesus, I recognized a couple of good examples to point out for all folks who would like to promulgate the Good News of salvation to their world.
In the first place, we are told that so many people wanted to hear the message of Jesus that he could not see all of them nor could they all hear him. So Jesus asked a fisherman, who was mending his nets on the shore, if he could do some preaching from his boat.
Now the fisherman was Peter and he was tired after a long night of futile work. He could have refused to accommodate Jesus, but he didn’t.
When the sermon was over, Jesus told Peter to put out into the deeper water to do some real fishing. Now Peter could have reminded Jesus that a preacher had no business fooling around with catching fish, but he didn’t. He gave Jesus’ advice a try and lots of fish cascaded into the net.
Now Peter could now have kept all those nice fish for himself, but he was a partner with James and John, so he called them to come and get their share of the catch. They hauled them ashore and they could have gone directly to the market and made a lot of money, but they didn’t. Instead the gospel tells us that they left all their possessions right then and there and followed after Jesus.
For me, that is a good explanation of what our Holy Father Pope Francis was talking about in his letter Gaudium Evangelii (the Joy of the Gospel). We are the crowd of people who have received a magnificent blessing at the time of our getting into the boat of Peter as we were washed in the waters of baptism.
We have the gifts of faith, of hope, and of charity in the deep waters of our souls. Now is the time when the Holy Spirit is calling us to join Pope Francis in letting these gifts flow out of our being so that we proclaim our joy to all the world by who we are and what we do.
And, as St. Francis of Assisi said centuries ago, when necessary we might even use words to tell the Good News to the multitude seeking the barque of Peter.
Father Timothy Gollob is the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.