“He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.” Peter, Andrew, James, and John’s lives would never be the same. They were going about their usual business–fishing on the Sea of Galilee–when Jesus approached them and said, “Come after me.” And that’s just what they did. “At once they left their nets and followed him.” Such a quick response to such a radical request!
What compelled these men to leave their livelihood to follow the Lord? His promise to them was that he would make them “fishers of men.” Perhaps they thought that promise sounded fabulous. But it seems more likely that it was Christ himself who drew the men. There must have been something utterly attractive about him, and completely trustworthy. Otherwise, it seems unbelievable that these men would have been so quick to respond to his call.
This compelling man is the same Christ who calls us. We hear his voice in a different way, of course, through the Church and through the Bible, through his Spirit in our hearts, but it is nonetheless the same Jesus of Nazareth who asks us to follow him. Have we allowed ourselves to be drawn by his voice? Are we open to a real encounter with the Lord who changes lives?
If our relationship with Jesus does not transform us, if it does not change us into different, better people moment by moment and day by day, then chances are that we are not truly encountering him. He is too powerful to be inconsequential. It might take some courage and commitment to come into authentic contact with the Lord, but when we do, our lives will never be the same.
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