Sunday, August 11, 2013

Parable of the Net

In the gospel, Jesus told his disciples that the Kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some fish of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore.

But what if after all the hard work and the effort exerted by the fishermen, they will experience what the disciples of Jesus experienced before they meet him and caught not a single fish . If this thing happens, they will certainly spent a time or two to check their nets, trying to comprehend what had just happen to their night of fishing in vain. Maybe the net is not so strong that it was easily destroyed at the very moment when it was filled with fishes, or maybe there were holes in it where the fish can pass way out. Certainly if the fishermen saw the problem they will immediately fix it.

In the previous days, we come to heard the news of Pope Francis' attendance to the World Youth Day Jamboree in Rio de Jainero Brazil, Brazil  which is considered to be a country with the largest Catholic population in the world but recently experiencing massive exodus of faithful who were converted to Protestantism or have been succumbed  to the tempting  consumerist-secularistic lifestyle of the world. With this situation enveloping Brazil and other parts of the world, Pope Francis candidly post a question to the Cardinals as a point of reflection, “Are we still a Church capable of warming the hearts of people?”. Aside from our faith to God, solidarity to each member of the Church is also needed in order for people to have a sense of belongingness - one can confidently say to oneself, I belong here, they love me here and I will stay here.

With it I come to think of my own experience in my vocation, people would usually ask us (seminarians) “Bakit  ka naman nag-seminarista?" Sayang! (Why have you decided to enter the seminary? What a waste!) Yes, often times I am like a fish. After being caught would dare, with all its strength,  to get away.

But I would say that I am still a seminarian because have experienced warmth even in frustrations, experienced God through the community, through the people who recognized my presence/existence in the most peculiar manner you can imagine such as what I call “Kantiyawan Moments”. Besides you can only candidly tease a person whom you consider as friends.

I always believe that when our hearts are full of charity, it will help us persevere and stay where we are now. Like what St. Peter said to the question of Jesus when most of his disciples left him because they cannot accept his teachings, "Lord, to whom shall we go, we believe and we know that you have the words of eternal life."

It is easy not to remain faithful if the love inside one’s hearts does not suffice “Madaling maging hindi tapat kung ang pag-ibig sa puso’y di sapat.”

Lastly, we are now fishers of men in our own right. In our apostolate, God gives us the opportunity to be his messengers. It is an essential part of the Church to go into the mission. A Church who forgets or decides to forget her missionary identity will cease to become a Church and it will only be considered as a merely social worker or a fisherman whose net is ruined.

Sem. Jonathan Autida is a Fifth Year theologian from the Diocese of Tagum. Currently, he is taking Canon Law in the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties. This reflection was given last July 31, 2013 during the Sharing of the Acolytes every Wednesdays & Sundays.

No comments:

Post a Comment