Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Jan. 22, 2023

Reflection for Jan. 22, 2023

'Follow me'

Jesus enters our daily lives and calls us to  grow in His ways

by Sister Laura Zelten

The readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time inspire us to understand that Jesus saves us and we are called to spread that Good News to others. In the first reading we hear the foreshadowing of Jesus who will usher in a new era of freedom and salvation. The psalm reaffirms that the Lord is our salvation. In the second reading Paul reminds us that we must be united in our efforts to evangelize, and in the Gospel we hear Jesus call Simon Peter and Andrew to join him in spreading the Good News.

I find it interesting that Jesus shows up on the shore and the apostles immediately walk away from everything they know -- family, livelihood, and relationships -- to follow Jesus. I don’t doubt it is true but it seems so sudden. Most of us would say our call to follow Jesus happened over time and involved some doubt or struggle similar to that of Jonah, Jacob, Sarah or even Peter. 

There are many ways to be called but there is only One who calls, and He continually calls us throughout our lives. Our entire journey becomes a conversion story. Conversion -- the turning towards Jesus -- does not happen in the abstract, but in the context of our life circumstances and relationships. So it was with Peter, Andrew, James, and John in Sunday’s Gospel. We hear how Jesus forms his disciples for mission in the context of life and relationships: the Beatitudes, the feeding of the 5000, the healing ministry and the forgiveness of sins. In each of these and throughout the Gospels we hear the call, “Come, follow me.” 

The turning points of our lives are invitations to follow Jesus more closely. They are the intersections of our lives and Jesus’. Isn’t that what is happening in today’s Gospel? We hear the same words in our lives that Peter, Andrew, James, and John heard: “Follow me.”


01/19/2023 3:23 pm

All the way to Nicaragua and back.

Thanks, Laura

01/19/2023 3:49 pm

Thanks, Laura. Yes, the apostles responded so immediately to Jesus' call. That is a real example of generosity and willigness for us. It seems we need more time for our conversion and response.

Irene Whatley
01/19/2023 8:32 pm

Dear Sr Laura,

Thank you for the meaningful discussion of Come follow me. I need to think of it more often as life gets harder. I want to follow Jesus straight to his home in heaven.

William C. Mitchell
01/20/2023 4:43 am

God Love You...Thank You, Sister Laura! I always read the Meditations And Reflections every Friday! May God Bless And Our Blessed Mother Be With All Of You On Your Jouneys Through Each Day! William :)

01/20/2023 6:44 am

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;

upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone." (Is. 9:1; Matt. 4:16)

This comforting passage is quoted in both the first reading from Isaiah and again in Matthew's gospel this weekend. It cannot be more relevant and meaningful in Today's Times. I find it especially so this winter, when ever since November it seems we have had more than our share of very gray and gloomy days. This January seems to be nothing but gray and gloomy days.

Such grayness and drabness weighs heavy on my soul and spirit.

It is parallel with the darkness of violence, oppression, and suffering that is happening in extreme measures in so much of the world in These Times.

The evil of bombing completely innocent families, businesses, neighborhoods where children play, attend school, seek medical care in Ukraine is beyond my comprehension. All I can do is offer my complete sadness and sorrow, in prayer, to Mother Mary, to her Beloved Son, JESUS, and to the Holy Spirit to intervene on behalf of so many innocent and suffering lives.

The sadness and darkness, too, that exists in the despair of so many hurting families today, including immigrants forced to flee their homes, those losing homes due to extreme weather-related catastrophes, family members struggling with addictions, or feeling alone, those losing family members to gun violence, is a heavy weight that, again, I turn to Mary, her Beloved Son, JESUS, and to the Holy Spirit.

What I long for most of all is for people who share this earnest and urgent need to pray. I long to join in the presence and company of those longing for and praying for peace and healing. I long to join with and be with others who are longing for The Light.


For Those Who Have Far to Travel, An Epiphany Blessing , by Jan Richardson

The Call

If you could see

the journey whole

you might never

undertake it;

might never dare

the first step

that propels you

from the place

you have known

toward the place

you know not.

Call it

one of the mercies

of the road:

that we see it

only by stages

as it opens

before us,

as it comes into

our keeping

step by

single step.

There is nothing

for it

but to go

and by our going

take the vows

the pilgrim takes:

to be faithful to

the next step;

to rely on more

than the map;

to heed the signposts

of intuition and dream;

Add Your Comment

This is not displayed anywhere publicly.

Weekly Reflections Email

Be notified every time a Weekly Reflection is added!

Sign Up Now

Newsletter Signup

Want to receive our Newsletter?

Sign Up Now