Monday, January 11, 2016

Fishers of Men

I’ve always liked our Gospel reading from Mark (1:14-20) about casting nets into the sea and Jesus saying to Simon and Andrew: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 

Living on Cape Cod we all appreciate fishing nets and fishermen catching seafood on which we love to dine.  Theirs is a difficult life made even more complicated by often difficult-to-understand rules and regulations affecting their livelihoods.

Then there are the storms stripping our beaches and battering their boats.   It’s a very dangerous profession being made ever more uncertain by effects of climate change and warming coastal waters affecting fish abundance and distribution.   Such is the life of seafaring men and women.

Speaking of women, I wonder why Jesus didn’t say: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men and women.” Perhaps because he knew women didn’t need to be caught.  They simply jumped into the boat.  They knew a good thing when they saw it – or felt it.   No nets were needed.

On the other hand, perhaps men needed to be pursued, convinced, and caught.  The women knew right away; men likely were suspicious and needed to be chased and “gilled.”

Jesus was a big hit with women for obvious reasons.   He was their champion along with all the rest – the poor, sick, elderly, and disadvantaged.  Jesus made sure that women counted.

When we think about it, it’s likely women were the fishers of men encouraging them to follow Jesus and all for which he stood – and died.

Deacon David Pierce

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