what’s the real deal with the Christian fish symbol? is it that there are so many references to fish/fishing in the Bible? is it that many of the 12 disciples were fishermen? is it that He said He would make us “fishers of men”? (Matthew 4:19). or is it that Jesus was given two fish and 5 loaves and turned them into food for the masses (Mark 6:41) (or was that really about food)? when you see the famous fish symbol, what do you think of? the fact is that the fish has been used since the earliest days of the church to represent Christianity and is often coupled with a greek acronym – ichthys-i.x.o.y.e- which we sometimes see spelled out inside the symbol. so, what the heck does that mean we may ask….Jesus Christ of God Son Savior…did you know that? so, around this acronym lies the outline of a fish. going back to early literature the symbol is referenced by clement of alexandria, born 150 ad. so let’s agree… it’s old! in today’s world, sitting in traffic is the most frequent viewing of this historic symbol. and when we see it we can do one of two things…1. look through it, over it or past it. or 2. we can use it as a reminder of what it may mean to us. for some Catholics, we think of the lenten season and our fasting fridays. for others “the fishers of men” may remind us of the importance of living our Christian faith in order to bring in others by our example. and then for some it may remind us of Jesus’ miracle to feed the masses from only two fish given to him…it was asked though, was this really about literally feeding the hungry, providing for the basic needs of His children, for food? maybe. but like so many words in the Bible, we read a verse one day and it mean one thing, read it a year later and it may mean something else. so here is another interpretation. a perspective that may give an even clearer vision of Him and His infinite potential. it says when we bring anything/or anyone to Him, he will do the miracles. if we pray to Him, go to Him for guidance, take ourselves and through our words and examples;others in front of Him, He will provide the answers, the solutions and meet the needs of all of us. but we have to lay our “fish” in front of Him so He can go to work. think about that. and next time you catch a glimpse of “the fish” in a parking lot…take the hint…and go to Him with your needs, pray for His hand to help and let Him provide.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Mark 6:41