“God speaks to man through the visible creation. The material cosmos is so presented to man’s intelligence that he can read there traces of its Creator. Light and darkness, wind and fire, water and earth, the tree and its fruit speak of God and symbolize both his greatness and his nearness.” Catechism of Catholic Church paragraph 1147
When hiking, I enjoy a trail that takes me through a stand of tall pines. It is there that I often stop, close my eyes, and listen as a gentle breeze moves through the pines, causing them to whisper ever so quietly. I am reminded of Elijah as he recognized God in the gentle whisper of the wind. 1 Kings 19:12
My favorite activity is being on the trout stream fly fishing. The water is so clear you can see the trout swimming below you. I will forever be like a kid fishing, it is always a thrill to hook into a fish.
In the gospel of Mark and Mathew Jesus sees Simon and Andrew casting their nets into the sea. He invited them, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” As we know, they dropped their nets and followed Jesus.
During this era of the New Evangelization, we too are called to be fishers of men. Like the apostles we are called to drop what we are doing, become followers of Jesus and then to share our love for him with others.
Evangelizing is much like fishing. To be successful at both requires knowing and understanding their needs and desires, the right bait is important, and finally the correct presentation.
The desires and needs of one person may, and will, be different for another person. Time needs to be taken to get to know them and for them to know you.
Bait selection is easy when fishing for men. Only one is needed to be successful, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Share your love for Jesus with others and how his love transformed your life.
The last item of importance is your presentation. All of your knowledge and the right bait are for nothing if you don’t have the right presentation. Like fishing, a gentle presentation will often work the best. Don’t go charging up and spook them away. As they get to know you and how Jesus made a difference, they too will want what you have: A joy and peace that comes from knowing Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
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AUTHOR: DEACON MONTY MONTAGNE
Deacon Monty was ordained to the Diaconate February 14, 1988, for the Diocese of Des Moines. Currently he is assigned to Corpus Christi Parish. Besides the normal “hatch, match and dispatching” (baptisms, weddings and funerals), he serves as an on-call chaplain for Mercy and Creighton Hospitals and is am a volunteer chaplain with the Council Bluffs Fire Department.