3rd Sunday (Note & Bulletin)

​I remember that my third year in the Jesuits was not a good year.  The previous two years had been easy, that is, the life of a Jesuit seemed to fit like a glove.  I began to struggle and consequently, to feel as if life was not so joyful.  There came a moment when I said to God, “I can’t do this!  I don’t think I can do this Jesuit thing!”  The next couple of days I continued to think about what I had said to God and began to understand that, perhaps, for the first time, I was beginning to live a Christian life.  What I mean by this is that for so long, the living of my faith was centred on my actions and my words.  It was as if I received a “job description” for being a follower of the Lord and sought simply to imitate or mimic what I read.  Following the Lord certainly involves each of us, but even more so, does it centrally involve God.  Being a Christian is less about mimicking a “job description” and much more about being who we are, that is, of having our hearts open to his loving and redemptive grace.  In a way, we begin being a Christian when we let go of the reins, even slightly, and allow God to take hold.

​In this week’s Gospel, we have the call of the first disciples.  We see Jesus walking on the seashore when he stops in front of Peter and his brother Andrew who are hard at work fishing.  The Lord said to them, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of people.”  The scripture tells us that they dropped their nets and followed Christ.  And when Jesus saw James and John, he did the same and they too left everything and followed the Lord.  When I read this story of how the first disciples of Christ responded to his call, I must admit that I feel envious.  I wish I could respond like they did – so quickly and easily, and so confidently and clearly.  But following the Lord is not about signing our names to some organization; rather it is about following a person, the Lord Jesus Christ.  The first four disciples did not follow a political platform, they left their nets and their father because within their midst a man was saying that the “kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”  They, like us, felt their hearts move by the proclamation of God’s kingdom and the good news.  Their hearts were moved by the proclamation of love by “the carpenter’s son.”  And so they dared to leave their nets, to leave all that they knew.

​We know struggles and difficulties.  We feel there are times in which we cannot go farther.  The most important truth to remember at times like these is what the psalmist wrote: God is “the God of my salvation.”  We are never abandoned because our God refuses to withhold his love for us.  Our call to be a follower of the Lord isn’t about imitating or mimicking words and actions.  It is about opening our hearts and allowing God to fill us with his grace and love.  We become Christ’s followers when we let go of the reins, even if it’s just a bit.  As God’s grace and love flow into our hearts, then being a Christian is simply being who we are – a man or woman, an adult or child who knows, “in their bones,” that God is love.

God Bless and take care.

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