In today's Gospel, Jesus asks men to follow Him and He will make them "fishers of men." It is amazing to me these men just dropped their nets and followed Jesus. As disciples of Jesus, the men came to study and reflect on what Jesus was teaching them. He then called these men on a special mission to spread the Gospel and made them apostles for Him.
I know Jesus calls us to study with him and to spread the Word, but exactly how am I, as a sinner, going to be a disciple of His? After watching my husband fight a courageous 3 year battle with cancer, his faith never failing, I decided to join the Catholic Church. I wanted what he had. Through weekly Mass, RCIA, weekend retreats, special events, and IMPACT classes through the Archdiocese, I am attempting to learn all I can about my faith and how to use the spiritual gifts (charisms) I received at Baptism to share what I have with others. These charisms are given by the Holy Spirit for the benefit of the Church. In Joy of the Gospel (130), Pope Francis writes, " They (our charisms) are not an inheritance, safely secured and entrusted for a small group for safekeeping; rather they are the gifts of the Spirit integrated into the body of the Church, drawn to the center which is Christ then channeled into an evangelizing impulse." I was leery about using my gifts to bring others to the Church. How would I do that? Me?
Last weekend in IMPACT, we did a retreat about finding out what our spiritual gifts were. I laughed as "wisdom and "knowledge" came up. It was soon pointed out that is exactly what I was using to study more about my faith. We learned our spiritual gifts are not all the same. Because of that, we compliment each other in our community of God. Not all of us are born leaders. We need the nurturers, hospitality folks, the administrators, the healers, encouragers, and many others to make St Mary work for us, our communities, the world and for God. Whew! I didn't have to stand on a street corner and sermonize about God. That is not my strength. I could use my gifts in other ways that still draw people to the Lord just not old ways I envisioned. Look at the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo used his creativity to paint on the ceiling and people are still drawn to the church today.
The spiritual gifts we are given help us to channel God's love and to help build up the Church in ways we couldn't do alone. On the Internet, there are various charism inventories you can take to discern what your gifts are and how you can use them to help us all show others what we have found and that they can have it too. Let's be fishers of men together!
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4-8)