In the gospel this weekend, the Lord Jesus sees Simon and Andrew casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee. Rather than walking past them, Jesus turned to them and said: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men (Mark 1:17).”
What amazes me about Simon and Andrew is their response. They don’t stop and ask themselves, “Why would we follow him?,” or “What is fisher of men?,” or “What about all our stuff?” There is no hesitation in their response at all… they simply “abandoned their nets and followed him.”
It also amazes me that to this day, Jesus continues to approach young men, and offers them the same invitation: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men…” or in other words, “Follow me, and I will make you my priests.”
It’s important to understand that the call of these first disciples was first and foremost an encounter with Jesus Christ. What made Simon and Andrew abandon their nets so quickly? It wasn’t because they were being impulsive… it was because they looked directly into the eyes of their Savior, who called them to this beautiful vocation of love.
If you are a young man reading this bulletin article, I would encourage you to take this gospel passage to prayer. Perhaps the Lord is calling you to abandon your net and to become a fisher of men! Whatever your vocation is in life, prayerful silence is absolutely essential, because it’s hard to hear the voice of God when we are immersed in noise. If there’s a possibility that the Lord might be calling you to become a priest, feel free to speak with Fr. Timothy, Fr. LeRoy, or I. We’d be happy to tell you about the joys of priesthood.
Or, perhaps you are someone who knows a young man who might have the qualities of a good priest—a man who is prayerful, on fire with love, joyful, peaceful, and a Christian gentleman. Encourage him to consider the call, and keep it simple. The conversation might go something like this: “I’ve noticed that you’re a man with priestly qualities… have you ever considered the priesthood?” As an ACC, let’s keep praying for vocations, that young men might have the courage to respond to the call.
For more information, contact Fr. Scott Pogatchnik or Fr. Doug Liebsch at the Vocations Office at 320-251-5001, or visit their website at https://stcdio.org/vocations/. Be not afraid!
Fr. Tom Skaja