As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. (Matthew 4: 18-22)
The call of Jesus to his disciples is well known and marks the beginning of the Christian Church. But our understanding of “the call” may not be as appreciated as it is in our lives.
We begin with the very words themselves – “the call”. To many, that seems as if it exists where it should – in Sacred Scripture and to others. After all, many view a call as something that not only happened biblically but really happens in actuality to those who serve in ministry.
Or perhaps we tend to describe it in terms that are more “comforting.” A call to the medical profession. A call to parenthood. A call to science. A call to teaching and so on. But these contemporary terms disguise the true nature of THE call i.e. that is to answer the call of Jesus in our lives and to profess the importance of Jesus in all that we do. Because that is what a follower of Jesus is and does.
That happens when we go deep inside and listen to where our heart is. That happens when we go deep inside and ask ourselves the hard questions of who we are, what we do and WHY we do it. That happens when we go deep inside and are truly honest with ourselves about what we value in this life and beyond. Do we value this temporal world and its attractions or do we value an eternal life with Him?
Remember that no one of us starts out as an ideal disciple, but as we follow, our hearts will begin to change. What we are now isn’t an obstacle to what we can become— not to the Lord. He has had a vision for our life from the moment we were conceived. It’s a vision of fullness, not emptiness. It’s a vision in which every part of our personality—all of our talents, our character traits, and even our unique quirks—is filled with his life and is used to build his kingdom.
As we follow Jesus, our life is all about Him. It means we leave behind the life we might have had planned, that was centered around our self. Now the question of our life is no longer not what we want to do; it’s what He leads us to do. It’s no longer what we “feel” like doing; it’s what His word teaches you to do. Your life is not about what we can “achieve” here on earth, but what we store up in heaven.
The choice is to give our lives to Jesus, and follow him, or to try to live life on our own. It’s a choice between actively believing in Jesus or passively accepting a kind of “default” life in which we just go along with the rest of the world.
We can only give our life one day at a time, though. We can only follow Jesus one step at a time. When Jesus called the disciples and they left everything and followed him, they did not know where the road would lead. But they took the decisive step away from their nets toward Jesus. I wonder what concrete step Jesus is asking you to take today? I wonder how you will leave the shallows and cast out into the deep, into the deep, deep love of Jesus?
Maybe, though, you feel all tangled up in your nets and that you can’t get free. You’re all tangled up and you’re gasping for breath. The good news is that Jesus wants to come to you and slowly disentangle you. The good news is that Jesus wants to come to you and liberate you so that you know the fullness of life.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you have called me and continue to call me throughout this day. Help me to respond with love, a love that trumps all my other loves, likes and desires. I don’t want you to have to wait for me, Lord. Just show me what you want and give me the courage and generosity to give it to you, no matter the cost.”
Scripture reveals Jesus to us and the call he is giving us They are showing us that he is not just a good man whose example we should follow; he is the holy Son of God who became man so we could become beloved sons and daughters of God. They also show us that he is not a God who tests our faith by making us suffer; he is the Lamb of God who laid down his life so that we could be transformed into his very image and likeness!