The call of Peter and Andrew and of James and John to follow Jesus is a call for us to do the same, to follow Jesus all the way, no matter what the cost. The Gospel says that they left everything and followed Jesus. Some people never make a commitment to follow Jesus because they never realize that he is calling them. They think that the call of Jesus is just to go to church on Sundays or just to be a good person. No, he calls us to leave behind the way things used to be and to commit ourselves to following him. Peter, Andrew, James and John immediately left their nets and followed him: no hesitation, no delays. They realized that they had been offered the chance of a lifetime and they seized the moment.
Today, Jesus is calling us through this Gospel reading. He wants us to follow him, "Come on! What better time? Seize the moment, make your choice, and come, follow me." We should not hang around and let the sense of God's call slip away from us.
In following Jesus the apostles had to make radical changes in their lives. In our following of Jesus we too would have to make changes. Peter and Andrew left their fishing boat and nets; James and John left their boat, nets and father. Matthew gave up his lucrative job as a tax collector.
Jesus urges us to give up certain things: what is he telling us to change in our lives? What is he telling us to re-arrange or adjust in our lives? We should be ready to hear what he is telling us: it may be to change a habit or attitude; it may be to give up some things; it may be one of many things. God knows what is good for us. We may be asked to give up some thing or things to which we are very much attached. Here lies the challenge: the adventure to follow Jesus is worth anything it may cost us.
We should not let anyone or anything stop us from following Jesus. Commitment to follow Jesus will always cost something. The apostles left their livelihood to follow Jesus. Following Jesus may cost us a friend; family members may not understand what we are doing and may not wish to join you. If Jesus gave us his life and his all to save us, no sacrifice would be too great for us to follow Jesus as he asks.
Jesus called Peter and Andrew and James and John to help him bring the Good News to all the world. He invites each one of us, each one in a very special and unique way considering how each one of us is indeed unique, to allow ourselves to be met, called, loved and sent off to meet, love and invite others. How loved we are by God to be sought and called to follow and assist his only Son!
Do we feel we are true followers of Christ? What does being a "follower of Christ" mean to me? We hope we can, with honesty and generosity, pray, "Lord, I want to follow you, but I am weak. Take my hand and lead me, I will follow you. Thankful that you have called me, I bravely answer your call."