With what do you bait the hook to fish for the children of Adam and Eve?

With what do you bait the hook to fish for the children of Adam and Eve? Do you bait your hook with the nitty-gritty of Christianity? Or do you bait your hook with its pizzazz?

It's the bait, stupid!

(Click here for the Origin of the Expression)

"With what do you bait the hook?" This is the first question that every evangelist must answer. Until an evangelist discovers the answer to this question, he will catch no fish. God wants us to be fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). However, when it is time to bait the hook, we haven't a clue. We get flummoxed. We slap whatever is handy onto the hook willy nilly without any forethought whatsoever. Our self-defeating tendency is to bait the hook with what appeals to us and not with what appeals to the fish. The bait we use most often is the nitty-gritty of Christianity. Seldom do we bait the hook with Christianity's pizzazz. When the fish don't take the bait, we blame everyone and everything else but ourselves. 'It is the fault of the fish not us', we cry in defense of our failure to catch any fish. What bait catches fish (Matthew 4:19)? The only bait that catches fish is God's love for sinners. If your purpose is to catch fish, bait the hook with God's love for sinners as revealed to us by the bloody wounds of the Crucifixion. The fish take this bait hook, line and sinker. At Bethlehem, God sent us a love note. At Calvary, God put into our hands the proof that the love note is genuine. If his love for us were counterfeit, it would have faded as we tortured him and died when we killed him. But it did not. It survived. Its survival is the seal placed on the love note that guarantees the authenticity of his love for us.  Therefore, fish not with the nitty-gritty of Christianity. Only fish with Christianity's pizzazz. Only fish with Jesus impaled like a worm on a hook. Jesus impaled like a worm on the hook is the bait. Cast Jesus impaled on the sharp hook of salvation into the cesspools of sin to fish for the children of Adam and Eve (Matthew 4:19). With what do you bait your hook to fish for the children of Adam and Eve (Matthew 4:19)? Have you ever thought about it? Can you articulate it?  Are you an amateur fishermen - a dilettante with a degree in divinity who pretends to know how to fish? Or are you a professional fisherman who is not squeamish about baiting the hook of salvation with the body and blood of Christ  A professional fisherman pays, at the least, a modicum of attention to the bait he is using. Do you?

Jesus impaled on the Cross like a worm on the hook is the bait.

Bait the sharp hook of salvation with the pizzazz of Christianity not with its nitty-gritty - assuming you want to catch fish.

Is the best way to win a person over to the Catholic life to exclude him or her from it or include him or her in it? Is it better to pray for them or to pray with them? Is it better to keep them out or invite them in? Why, then, do we push sinners to the margins of Catholic life? Why do we post signs at the holy places that define the escape route from godlessness to paradise that say, "Keep Out", "No Trespassing", and "Dogs and sinners not welcome"?

Is your opinion of God so small that you fabricate the fantasy that he needs a bodyguard of the sanctimonious to keep sinners from following him? Isn't God big enough to protect himself?

Clerics are the ushers who show us to our seats. It is God, however, who puts on the show. Clericalism is a species of hubris in which a cleric fancies himself to be the star of the show.

The Church is barking up the wrong tree. It has lost its way. It is so concerned with defending and promoting the Catholic identity that it is ignoring the identity of Jesus. It has become a cheerleader for itself instead of a cheerleader for Jesus.

God gave us the ten commandments to govern us. They occupied a page. The Church gave us the Catechism. It occupies 864 pages . Who is complicating things?