by Sister Annette Koss
In Sunday’s first reading, we see how Jonah responded to God’s call to go to Ninevah. He boarded a ship hoping to avoid God’s call. As we know, Jonah found himself being swallowed by a whale giving him time to reflect and pray. God saved him and he did go to Ninevah where his preaching converted the people.
In our Gospel, the disciples seem to follow Jesus almost blindly. They had no idea what they were getting into yet they dropped their nets and followed the Lord. As they journeyed with Jesus, they found out what following Him really meant. As it happened, they ran into the worst – the Passion and Crucifixion. Later they experienced the best – the Resurrection.
We might run away like Jonah or run toward Jesus like the disciples did. Either way, we will have some suffering. We know that Jesus is with us throughout our lives, with us in our suffering and with us in our joys. Each day we are asked to learn what love is really about and set our eyes on the goal of eternal life.
Gracious God, you called to disciples and they left their nets.
When you called Jonah, he ran away.
We know that you call us, too.
Help us turn to you instead of running away.
We want to leave our boats, to drop our nets.
Help us let go, detach from everything.
Capture us in your net of eternal love.
Good to know: Even our times of "running away" can be used by God for good, if we are open to pondering, reflecting upon, and praying with the experience.
And our "running toward" times: Well, they can be exciting, but also sometimes scary, as is pointed out. 'Where will it all lead us?' we wonder. 'Into what dangers?' Yet, in faith, we simultaneously ask, 'What encounters with new graces will lead us on?' And then we pray, "Help us be open, LORD."
And I am reminded, too, of a holy man who said, "When we take one step toward God, God takes multiple steps toward us." And maybe that even means, God comes RUNNING toward us. (Think: Story of the Prodigal)
Thank You Sister for your loving prayer.
I say my prayers to Jesus almost every night and wake up and finish my prayers. At times I wonder why I was left alone to bear my missing husband, but now I know that he is with GOD and his pain is gone. These words help me along as I read the words from you. Emma