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.”