Mk 1: 14-20
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Casting a wide enough net
Over the Christmas holiday, my family and I went on a whirlwind trip to India with my parents to explore our ancestry, visit relatives, and to see the origins of their childhood. My mother is from the coastal city of Kochi in the Southern Indian state of Kerala. As we visited the Kochi coastlines, I saw the vast fishing boats and their large casting nets. They are exactly how I picture the fishing nets discussed in this passage.
I have a close friend and colleague who is always emphasizing the importance of casting a wide enough net. After Jesus declared his kingdom is at hand and upon calling Simon and Andrew to follow him, Jesus kept “casting his net” inviting James and John. Later on, he would call tax collectors, sinners, foreigners, and so forth, casting the net of the kingdom wide and far.
Do I cast a wide enough net that is all inclusive, inviting, and open to the entire kingdom of God? Am I willing to let go of my preconceived notions and trepidations to get out of my comfort zone to engage with those outside of my immediate communal circles?
—Dr. Sajit U. Kabadi is the Assistant Principal for Mission, Ministry, and Diversity at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, CO.
Dear Lord, help me to engage far and deep your kingdom on earth. Help me to intentionally reach out to the stranger, the foreigner, the outcast, and the other, willing to stretch my net to the fullest. Help me to appreciate the diverse gifts of the Holy Spirit they bring. Help me to truly make them my brothers and sisters in and through you. Amen.