I hear about Jesus’ call of Peter, Andrew, James and John, and think, “Hummm, what made Peter, Andrew, James and John leave their jobs, their families for this guy Jesus.” I guess I envisioned it as Jesus walking up to them, a complete stranger and making this request.
I suspect I am not alone in this.
Yet, what does Scripture really say? Jesus was in the area, and he was preaching about the kingdom.
So, Peter et al would have most likely have heard about Jesus, heard about his message. And somewhere within them, a seed was planted. The Word of God was there growing. Then when Jesus came, Peter and Andrew, James and John responded to the word. They changed the direction of their lives, literally they repent, and follow Jesus.
What about us?
Have we not heard this same message as well? What will be our Response to Jesus Christ? What IS our current response to the Word of God?
This is not to make any of us feel guilty, but I feel that every one of us needs to ask this of ourselves every so often; to be renewed, re-booted in our commitment to the way of Christ.
We are a privileged people, we can access the Word of God at any time of the day. We can access the teaching of Christ at any moment. Yet, we don’t always respond. We take faith for granted. We take the message of Christ for granted.
The people of Galilee would have heard the message. They would have heard how God’s love is present to them; that God’s loves them; even in the backwater region that they lived in. People who were told they were base born, sinners, rejects, would have heard Jesus’ message of God’s love, and the freedom that comes with it. And they responded.
Us…Well, I think it is too easy for us to assume it; and the true impact, well it can get lost. Or as Americans, we think we can just “buy” it eventually; do this or that to “Earn” the love of God; say a rosary, make up for the weekend by a daily mass; go to confession. This attitude that we can “Buy” God’s love, “Earn” God’s love, or that we are “owed” God’s love is a heresy. It is an ancient one that still exists to this day.
God’s love is Given freely and without cost.
We know that we have freely accepted this love by our response. When that love truly sinks into our hearts, minds and bodies, we respond!
Just like the fisherman, we change the direction of our lives.
So again…how have we changed?
If we need a reminder that God’ loves us, it is here in the Sacrament. We are given the very body and blood of the Son of God; the same Jesus Christ executed by humanity and raised by the Father from the dead; as a covenant of the love of God.
Eucharist invites us to respond!
Our response..depends on where we are in our lives. For some, that response will be subtle…it will be a move from hopelessness to hope. For others, it will be more evident, in the turning away from giving our selves to people who do not deserve us, and living a chaste life. It will be a greater generosity with money, time and our the gifts that we have. For some, it will finally be the motivation to marry.
And yes, for some, it will be the inspiration to respond and serve in the religious life, as Priest, Sister, Deacon or Brother.
But all of it begins with letting that seed, that Word of God sink in. It begins with truly dwelling on what the Love of God means in our lives.