Jan 14 (Mk 1:14-20)

The fish has been greatly associated with Christianity.

The early Christians used to associate each other with a code symbol named ICHTHUS.

ICHTHUS is the Greek word for Fish.

ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthus) was also an acronym for “Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ”, (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr), which translates as “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour”.

It is a symbol consisting of two intersecting arcs, the ends of the right side extending beyond the meeting point so as to resemble the profile of a fish.

As per an ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road..

… the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt.

>> If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company.

The fish has been sailing along the Christian waters for quite long!

And this journey of the fish in the Christian waters has its commencement in the Gospel of the Day – Jesus calls His first disciples, who were busy “catching fish”.

In the Gospel of the Day, Simon , his brother Andrew, along with the family of Zebedee – John, James and their father, were busy fishing.

>> The Lord, indeed, comes to meet and encounter us in the ordinary situations of our life.

Fishing was their means of livelihood

>> As they are engaged in these affairs of livelihood and occupation, they have a surprise visitor – Jesus!

He comes with a contagious fire of love in His heart & a gentle expression on His face.

>> He comes with a deep passionate look in His eyes & a soothing appearance in His personality

He calls out to the busy fishermen, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men!” (Mk 1:17)

“Fishers of men??!”

All their life they had only known that its only fish that can be fished!

>> But this was strange to hear – that “people could also be fished”!

That trade of “fishing of people” would soon be taught to them by the Great Fisherman of Galilee…

>> Not with hooks of iron…

… but with hooks of conscience-appeal and heart-attraction

>> Not spreading nets of cloth, nylon or fibre etc…

… but with nets of goodness and love

>> Not travelling in deep waters of the sea…

… but navigating into the depths of human life

In the ordinary situation of life…

The disciples experienced the call to go beyond mere existential realities

>> The Lord introduced them to a Way to Eternity!

In the normal routine of life…

The disciples experienced the power to transpose their basic and ordinary needs

>> The Lord manifested to them the Higher Needs of Life!

For these fishermen-disciples, life had got into a sort of daily ordinary rhythm:

Going for fishing and trying their luck…

…Sometimes high success… many times immense failure…most of the times nothing exciting.

It was just a monotonous, repetitive and droning style of life.

Our lives too sometimes become a matter of routine and ordinary existence…

>> The same daily works and activities…

…Sometimes high success… many times immense failure…most of the times nothing exciting.

It is, very often, just a tedious, dull and boring style of life.

But in these ordinary moments, there are glimpses of the Extraordinary that is often revealed.

>> In the simple situations, there are rays of the Light of Eternity that often shines through.

Are we open and docile to these “ordinary” and “simple” appearances of the Lord in our lives?

Simple fishermen became part of the Super Fishing Strategy of the Greatest Fisherman of the world!

>> You and I… are called to today, in the littleness and the ordinariness of our lives…

…to give witness to the One who renovates lives and transforms hearts!

… to get transformed & filled with the same passion and zeal of the Disciples!

Are we ready to go fishing with this Great Fisherman of Galilee?

Hail ICHTUS – Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

– Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS

Bengaluru, India


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS)– “ You can catch more flies with a spoon of honey than with a barrel of vinegar!_”

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