Follow me

Follow me

 

Today is the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle.  Andrew was the brother of Peter, and, like Peter, was martyred by crucifixion.

Jesus ran into (?) Andrew and Peter on the shore of the sea of Galilee as they were mending their nets.  He said to them “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Guess what –  they dropped everything and followed Jesus.

I paid particular attention, for obvious reasons, to the way that Matthew was invited to follow Jesus as well.  “He saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs post. He said to him “Follow me”, and he got up and followed him.”

For Andrew, Peter and Matthew, there was no hesitation.  They gave up their known lives and followed this man to ends of which they knew not.  They didn’t stop to think about it; they didn’t work out the orderly disposition of their goods; they didn’t sell their businesses or make some phone calls cancelling appointments.  They got up and followed him.

Could I do that?  To some extent, I did when I came to work for the Diocese of Cheyenne.  I sold a business that took many years to build. I left the known for the unknown.  Jesus called, and I heard him, and I answered.  I wasn’t nearly so trusting as Andrew, Peter and Matthew, though.

What would happen if Jesus called us to do something really hard?  What if he asked us to suffer persecution, or ridicule, or death, because of him?  Would we say yes?

Frankly, I don’t know if I could.  I have had to defend my faith in groups before, and it was never easy.  Could I really answer the bell? Could I drop my nets, or leave my business to follow Jesus? How would I react if I was given the choice to renounce Jesus – or die?

I want to say “yes” to those questions, but I’ll never know unless confronted with those choices.  I haven’t abandoned Jesus to this point, so maybe I’m stronger that I believe I am.  Maybe – no, definitely – I should trust in the Lord.  He will guide me, and help me in my times of trial, and not abandon me.

Let’s be like Andrew, Peter and Matthew.  Let’s get up, and follow him.

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