Peace to you!
We have been reflecting the last few weeks on a kind of process through which God calls people to active discipleship. A few weeks ago we heard that Samuel had to learn how to listen and discern God’s call in the night. The Gospel story that day depicted Andrew and another disciple hearing John the Baptist identify Jesus as the Lamb of God. They listened to what John said and they went after Jesus to find out about him. The weekend after that, we heard the story of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew, James and John to leave their boats and nets to follow him and become fishers of men.
The call stories are always interesting and powerful for us because they help us focus on listening and following God in new and deeper ways. They also remind us of the past when God has called us to move beyond our comfort zones to change our lives: to do something new.
This weekend we get a glimpse of the disciples as neophytes or beginners in active ministry with Jesus. In the story, they are at the home of Andrew and Peter—a familiar, comfortable place for them. Jesus heals their mother, and she moves from inaction to activity. The whole town coming to the house for help from Jesus seems convenient for him to dispense grace from God. In the morning when they find him away from the house at prayer, they want him to come back to the house—to what is familiar and easy, their own comfort zone. But Jesus takes them with him to new villages and towns—a journey to discover new horizons and to have new experiences.
I like adventure and going new places. I used to hike in the Wyoming Wind River mountain wilderness area for 20 years with my horse and dog. Of course, it was my love for fishing that carried me beyond the familiar to new places and adventure. Ever since I responded to the Call of the Lord my life has been at the service of the Gospel and the Lord has taken me to many new places with new experiences and horizons to serve his purpose.
Questions we might ask ourselves are: As a good steward, how am I serving God? What response have I made to the fact that Jesus has saved me and raised me up? When I look around, are there others who need my help? Am I open to the call to serve others? Do I have the courage to adventure with the Lord as my leader and teacher?
May God bless you and guide you always! +++ Fr. Peter