Come, Follow Me

“As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon, who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.
At once they left their nets and followed him.”

-Matthew 4:18-20

Today, the Gospel reading comes from Matthew. Jesus calls His first Apostles. As we listen to these words, we can’t merely Fishers of menjust think, “Oh. Cool. He called those dudes who became the first bishops. Noted.” No. We need to realize that that call goes out to EVERYONE. Matthew chooses to stress the fact that Simon and Andrew were fishermen. Fishermen weren’t exactly set apart from everyone else. Fishermen were just ordinary people. That’s whom Jesus called, that’s whom He calls: ordinary people. We, as ordinary people, must heed Christ’s call. Accepting God’s love and grace, we must bring Christ to all. We must be able to bring all to know the love and mercy of God. God sent us as messengers for him, not for ourselves. We must bring all people to come to know Christ. If they don’t know us, that is fine. That may even be best. They should not be recognizing us as we come to them; they should be recognizing Christ and the love He brings.

Today we hear a message of hope. In today’s first reading, Isaiah proclaims:

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.” (Isaiah 9:1-2)

God’s prophet reveals this message of hope to all. God leads man out of darkness and into the light. Only by His grace can man truly escape the dark of sin and death, and enter into the light of love and life. We are called to participate in this in two main ways. Firstly, as said above, we are all called to be fishers of men. By the love and grace of God, we are called to seek to bring the nations to Christ and bring Christ to the nations. Our Faith does not call us to ‘Be good.’ We aren’t just supposed to seek to be ‘nice.’ Our Faith is so much bigger than that. We must seek to share the Truth and Love that is God Himself. God is the Light of the world. When we bring the Light TO the world, God banishes the darkness. People will rejoice in the love of God, being released from the darkness. We are all called to live that wish of Christ, evangelizing Christ’s message of love to all the nations, by word and by deed.

Also, we are called to bring the light of Christ to our hearts, minds, and souls. None of us our perfect. We all sin. We all do crap that hurts God, hurts our neighbors, and hurts ourselves. We can’t truly rid ourselves of that darkness without the light and grace of God. So we must continually seek God’s help in prayer (and in the Sacraments, for Catholics). He can bring the light of His love into our hearts to help us see our failures. God will forgive us, IF we ask for it. If we’re not sorry and willing to seek His forgiveness, we won’t get it. We get the forgiveness for which we truly ask and the forgiveness we give. When we seek God’s healing hand, He will heal us. His light will guide us in the darkest of times; we just have to follow it. When we go astray, we can run back to Him. We just need to always remember to accept His grace. In the Gospel today, Christ proclaims to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). That is what we must continually do: repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand and among us. We need to trust in the Lord and recognize that.

“Have you no wish for others to be saved?
Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!” 

-Charles H. Spurgeon


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