Sculpture by Rafael Consuegra (born 1941),
Installed at Petrozavodsk, Russia, Lake Onega
Executed in 1991
© Christian Art
Follow me and I will make you fishers of men
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, 'Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.' And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.
Reflection on the Lakeside Sculpture
Cuban-born American artist Rafael Consuegra installed this sculpture of two fishermen at Lake Onega in Russia. It shows two fishermen ready to throw their nets into the water. The artist breathes life into straight metal rods. So in today's reading does Jesus breathe new life into the fishing nets of Peter and Andrew, by inviting them to become fishers of people. He simply tells them 'Follow me'. For Peter and Andrew (whose feast day we celebrate today) it meant that they would physically leave their nets behind and follow Jesus on foot wherever He went. They left their jobs, they left their boat, they left their families, they left their plans, they left their friends… they left their old life behind.
Whilst Christ is not standing physically in front of us for us to physically follow Him as Peter and Andrew did, we are called to leave things behind as well: we are called to leave behind our life plans if these are too much centered around ourselves; we are asked to leave behind our habit of doing what we just feel like doing; we are asked to leave behind friends who may not be a good influence on us; we are asked to leave behind old ways of life, bad habits…. Following Jesus means leaving certain things behind. These will be different for each of us. What have we left behind for Jesus so far in our lives? What will we leave behind in future?… Following Jesus simply means wanting to spend more time with Him. We need to free up that time. That is what Peter and Andrew did, so they could simply be with Jesus... We too are called in today's reading to simply 'be with Him'.
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