Fishing In A Stocked Pond

In Matthew 4:19 Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” He was not only speaking to Simon and Andrew, He was speaking to all Christians. There has never been a better time to accept this calling because in our modern world we are fishing in a stocked pond. Find out what this means in today’s message.

From a Biblical context, “fishers of men” is a metaphor that Jesus used to call His disciples to evangelize or spread His teachings and the Good News of salvation. Just as fishermen cast their nets into the sea to catch fish, Jesus calls all of us to spread our “net” of the Gospel message to all people, or ‘fish’ in the world.

Why did I say that being a fisher of men is like fishing in a stocked pond?

Fishing in a well-stocked pond can be a delightful and rewarding experience for many reasons. The fish are abundant, therefore, the success rate for catching fish should be quite high. Usually, in a well-stocked pond there is a diverse range of fish, thus enhancing the fishing experience. Finally, fishing in a well-stocked pond makes it easy for everyone from a seasoned angler to a total novice, to have fun while catching several fish.

Our world today presents a unique and unprecedented opportunity for Christian evangelization. Many people perceive the current culture and social landscape as being too challenging to evangelize. That is a glass half empty perspective. There are many unique opportunities today that make this the ideal time to effectively proclaim the Gospel message. We can choose to perceive the world as an evil place filled with ungodly evil people, or we can look at the world as a pond brimming with fish, just waiting to be caught.

Despite what seems to be an apathy towards Christianity and a growing indifference towards organized religion, there is a deep yearning for truth in the world. The stocked pond is filled with fish exhibiting discontent and genuine lack of purpose. People’s minds and hearts are surprisingly open to reliable information about Jesus and His teachings. People desperately need to observe people living an authentic Christian witness. Like Simon and Andrew, we must drop our nets and go forth to answer Jesus’ call to be fishers of men. We need a renewed commitment to proclaiming the Gospel.

The very cultural changes that have led to increased secularization have also created unexpected opportunities for us to employ a renewed manner of proclamation of the timeless truths of the faith. Schools of hungry fish are evident in this world where pain and suffering are all too common. It is time for a “new evangelization.” A stocked pond demands a profound renewal of missionary zeal. Far too large of a segment of the human family swim aimlessly without a proper knowledge of Christ. We need better fishing techniques, and we ourselves must become high tech fish finders.

To be successful fishers of men, requires a strong knowledge of Scripture and a deep and vibrant prayer life. If we are steeped in scripture and prayer, we do not need to worry about how to speak to others or what to say. We can trust that the Holy Spirit will speak through us (Mathew 10:19-20).

The Church is not without the resources to effectively evangelize, and there is no shortage of people who need the saving news of Jesus Christ. Yet, when it comes to evangelizing, the fish are abundant, but the fisherman are few (see Matthew 9:37). What’s needed in the world today is a re-proclamation of the Gospel, particularly to those who have already been evangelized but have fallen away from their faith. With the right approach, we can all effectively engage in this “new evangelization.”

We must understand the culture in which we live. Today’s world is characterized by technological advancements, a thirst for instant gratification, and often, a sense of isolation despite being more connected than ever. Recognizing these characteristics allows us to tailor our evangelical efforts to meet people where they are.

At our very fingertips we have the ability to utilize technology for evangelization. Social media platforms, podcasts, and websites provide opportunities for us to share the Gospel message with a wide audience. We can post inspiring quotes, Bible verses, and personal testimonies of faith. Additionally, we can engage in online discussions, providing a Christian perspective on various issues.

However, while the digital world offers many opportunities, we must not neglect personal encounters. Jesus ministered to people one-on-one, showing genuine love and concern for each individual. We are called to do the same. This could mean reaching out to a coworker who is going through a tough time, inviting a neighbor to church, or simply taking the time to listen to someone who is hurting.

Furthermore, we must be prepared to defend our faith. In a world where Christian beliefs are often challenged, we need to know why we believe what we believe. This doesn’t mean we need to have all the answers, but we should be able to provide a reason for our hope.

We must remember that evangelization is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to drop our hook into the waters of life, but it is God who brings the hungry fish to bite on the hook. Therefore, we must constantly pray for the people we are trying to reach and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our evangelization efforts.

In conclusion, the modern era, with all its challenges and complexities, presents the Christians with a unique opportunity to proclaim the timeless Gospel message in a way that speaks to the hearts and minds of contemporary men and women. With courage, creativity, and a deep personal relationship with Christ, we can rise to meet the cultural changes of our time and become world class fishermen for the Kingdom of God.

Heavenly Father, I want to answer your call to be a fisher of men. Grant me the ability to read the “water conditions,” the best “choice of bait,” the “proper gear,” the determination to “drop a hook” in the water, and patience to wait for “the fish to bite.” Amen!


As always, I love to hear from you. You can email me by clicking here.

Please take a moment to share your thoughts about today’s message below.

Brian Pusateri
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  1. Tony Prisland on May 1, 2024 at 5:28 am

    Love this message, and the closing prayer made me smile!

  2. Bob Peary on April 30, 2024 at 11:28 am

    We need stronger leadership from the Vatican and clearer direction from

    all the Bishops. Membership in the Church is declining because of weak leadership

    • Brian Pusateri on April 30, 2024 at 11:47 am


      Thanks for sharing your thoughts in your post. I have a slightly different perspective. I think it is a both/and leadership problem from the magisterium and the laity. In February 2022, the Vatican released statistics showing that in 2020 the number of Catholics in the world increased by 16 million to 1.36 billion. The Catholic Church is growing on a worldwide basis, while at the same time there has been a decline in wealthier western cultures. The same things are seen in non-Catholic churches in these same cultures. I prefer to point the finger of blame at us the lay faithful. In wealthy countries many have chosen to put their faith in money and wealth and the finer things of life. People in poorer countries, where the church is growing, still find a pressing need for God. I am not sure that it is as much a leadership problem as it is a follow-ship problem. We ALL need to follow the teachings and footsteps of Jesus Christ more closely and we all need to do a better job of LEADING the lost and broken people of the world to Jesus. I do think we are fishing in a stocked pond and there is an abundance of fish to catch. Let’s drop a hook in the water today.


    • Joseph B Galloway on May 1, 2024 at 9:30 am

      Bob – I share your frustation. Certainly, the horrific activities of these recent years that have come to light have given many people reasons to question their membership in our church. And, it might have been easier back in the days of my father and grand father when all they were asked to do was to pray, pay, and obey. But today, I have a much richer relationship with my faith and my religion. It asks me to actively remain in Jesus (Jn 15:5) (daily Bible reading, Mass and Adoration, and Confession). And then it exhorts me to go out and proclaim the Gospel (Mk 16:15). I believe the best way to do this are the Works of Mercy we read about in Matthew 25:31-46. When we do these things, when we serve the needs of the most vulnerable amongst us, that not only improves our community, but it also attracts people to want to be a part of such a majestic mission. That is what evangelizes.

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