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02.17.06: Does your life attract or scare?

Bulletin column for St. Mary's Parish in Griffith, Ind.

Should your life attract or scare?

That line from “The Summons,” a hymn found in our Gather book, really has a lot to do with today’s Gospel. Here is this man Jesus, stepping into a boat with men he barely knows. They’re tired. They’ve been fishing all day and caught nothing. Here he comes and tells them to cast their nets into the deep water. They do it. Why? Something about Jesus attracts them. Maybe it was the words he spoke to the crowds, maybe it was the way he carried himself, but something attracted them to Jesus. Trusting in Jesus worked, and they caught more fish than they could handle.

Friends, this is the power of a life that attracts others. These men left life behind and began following Jesus, and not just in a superficial way. Just as he told them to cast their nets in the deep, so too he commanded them to get out of the shallowness of life and join him in this mission that would transform stony hearts into open vessels wherein he can truly pour his love. His life attracted them.

Does our life attract or scare? This is a question every parish has to ask themselves and one that really should be at the core of every meeting and every gathering. What can we do in our parish culture to attract people to a life with Christ? Do we reflect the community we’ve been called to serve? Do we have a true notion of what it means to be a disciple and live our faith as a welcoming community?

God is calling us this day, in this place, as this people, to cast our nets into the deep. Just as Christ made Simon and Andrew “fishers of men,” so too are we called to bring people closer to Christ, through the way we live, and the way we love.

Let us love one another, and may the little changes in our hearts make a big impact in our world.

In joyful hope,


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