Today’s readings call us to be decisive in our faith.
Simon, Andrew, James, and John demonstrate this decision for us in their response to Christ’s calling, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." In both instances, the men immediately abandoned what was before them and followed Christ.
Imagine if Simon and Andrew looked at their Savior and said, "Thanks for the offer, but we will finish up fishing and meet you later." That is no way a disciple should respond to Christ’s call. Yet, that is how we often respond to Jesus' offer to us, "Come after me." We can easily fall into thinking that we have plenty of time to live active discipleship. But as faithful stewards of our time, we must change our ways and immediately follow Christ more intentionally, because Christ is calling us to act now.
These men became members of Jesus' 12 apostles. They surrendered their entire lives to follow Christ. We, too, are called to surrender our lives to the Lord so that He may work through us. We might think, “God isn't calling me.” But indeed, He is. Just as He called four ordinary fishermen, He is calling each one of us. Renewing and reevaluating what God might be asking of us throughout our lives is a key component of our stewardship journey. As I wrote last week, I am fishing for more men from our parish to become priests to serve in our Diocese! Won’t you join me?
As we settle into this New Year, let us ponder the ways we can renew our commitment to God. Let us ask ourselves: what are we casting our nets for? And are we willing to leave it behind for something much greater? And if not now, when?
Fr. Mark Zacker
The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew,
Basilica of Saint Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy