FRIDAY: Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
I am Fish and Angler in One Body
The simplicity of God is stupefying. His wisdom is irresistible. His congeniality with the common person is even more astounding. Why did he choose to become the son of a carpenter? Even that too is incredible. Nevertheless, God is God; his wisdom and reason are above us for our own good. Those who wish to share in his intrinsic qualities, those who want to imitate his moral standard, and wish to confront every situation with the same fortitude as he did, they must just unquestioningly accept and embrace Christ at his level.
The most imaginable think Christ has done is to make himself present in all of us. More so, to give us a share in his divine ministry, regardless of our ethnicity, dialect, culture or profession in the world. God has no favourites (Acts.10:24-48; Rom.2:11-13). What matters is that we are open to doing his will. Mary and Joseph without hesitation unhesitatingly embraced God’s free offer to birth and parent Emmanuel. Mary Magdalene had a sordid past; Christ did not overlook her willingness to abandon her former lifestyle. The same for St. Paul and Zacchaeus, Matthew and others. The Father and the Son always embrace those who are faithful to their word (Jn.14:23; Rev.3:20).
These men and women, their social status, their simple professions did not obstruct God’s plan of salvation for the world. Only human prejudice serves as obstacles to spiritual progress in all aspects of human life and their activities – historical, social, political, economic and spiritual. A closer look at ourselves will reveal the self-contradiction, which exists in us all. Christ, without prejudice made us both fish and fishers of men in collaboration with him. If we open ourselves to the divinely inspired word as Joseph and Mary did, people will be asking the same question about us when we confront the corruption in the world and in the church as Christ did. This is the origin of the statement from Christ: “A prophet is only despised in his own country and his own house (Matt.13:58).” This statement speaks volumes of our myopia and our ability to rise about the social limitations of others and allow God to use them as agents of conciliation, love, mercy and compassion.
How then can we overcome this human weakness? In the words of St. Paul, “Accept God’s message for what it really is: God’s message, and not some human thinking (1Thes.2:13). If we do, we will all discover we are all fish and fishers of men in one boat with Christ and the first community of disciples who precede us.
My Lord and my God, deliver me from the spirit of prejudice.