boats almost to the point of sinking.Upon seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and his companions were amazed at the catch they had made, and so were Simon’s partners, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. You will catch people from now on.” So they brought their boats to land and followed him, leaving everything.
“If you say so, I will lower the nets.”Australian Catholic New Testa- ment scholar Brendan Byrne SJ has a beautiful phrase to capture the essence of Jesus’ ministry from a different perspective, that is, “‘people-catching’ trade” in comparison to the fishing-for-fish trade of Simon and his compa- nions. The notion of people-cat- ching expresses the bringing in of people into the loving embrace of the reign of God by means of the nets of preaching the good news, healing, forgiveness and reconci- ling. These nets constitute Jesus’ saving ministry, and they are de- signed to gather people for God.We, members of the Church, are now partners in this people- catching trade of Jesus because we were once “caught” into these nets. Those who are caught in the nets become themselves teachers of the good news, and agents of healing, forgiveness and recon- ciliation. We participate in Jesus’ people-catching trade to “bring [people] the more abundant life of the kingdom” (Brendan Byrne). As co-workers in the trade, we help reclaim the dignity and va- lue of all God’s creation, humans and nonhumans alike. © Copyright Bible Diary 2019