Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

Total Availability – 3rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Carlo Carreto was an active man of the world. Born in Piedmont, Italy in 1910 he became the charismatic leader of the Italian youth movement known as Catholic Action. At that time Communism was a fatal threat to Italy and the church was desperately seeking to counteract the Red Menace. It was necessary to enter into the political arena directly but this could be done solely by the laity. It was in this context that Carlo emerged. He animated, inspired and mobilized the younger generation for twenty years. But a life-changing moment came in 1954 when he felt God’s call for austerity and contemplation. He set out for the Sahara Desert where he decisively burned his address book containing his contacts and information of thousands of his friends in Italy. He would stay in the desert as a hermit and sit for long hours in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He left everything to follow Jesus.
In today’s gospel reading, Matthew describes the call of the first disciples. Jesus invites ordinary fishermen who immediately responds by “leaving their nets and their boats” in order to follow Jesus. The disciples were simple working people with no great background. Jesus was not looking for impressive background and striking talent from his candidates; he simply needed ordinary people who were generous and willing to give themselves totally to him. Even today, what Christ needs is not our ability but our availability.
Moreover, the call of the disciples was to become “fishers of men.” The disciples fully understood what this metaphor meant. Jesus was referring to hard work! Just as the laborious process of net tossing and slowly dragging it along hoping to trap fish in the net; then the repetitive effort of repairing and cleaning the nets take time, so the process of working for the kingdom would be frustrating. It would often means lack of results yet not allowing the results to dictate our enthusiasm and motivation. It meant relying not on one’s own ability but on God’s generosity for good results. Hence to be fishers of men means to be totally available for God’s work without counting the cost. 
Prayer:Lord, inspire me to be challenged by your call; follow you with total availability without counting the cost. Amen. 

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