Father Edward Hopkins, LC
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and
his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea;
they were fishermen. He said to them, "Come after
me, and I will make you fishers of men." At
once they left their nets and followed him. He
walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They
were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending
their nets. He called them, and immediately they left
their boat and their father and followed him.
Dear Jesus, I believe that you have called me
to follow you more closely today. I trust that in
this prayer, you will help me see the concrete
implications of following your will. I love you and
want to respond to all that you ask of me,
today and always. Thank you for watching over me
and guiding me home to heaven.
Petition: Make me a
fisher of men, here and now, Lord!
1. As Jesus
Walked By: One summer afternoon a priest just happened
to be in the area and visited my home. Within
three years, two of my brothers and I were
following Christ on the road to the priesthood. Jesus
didn’t just happen to walk by these two pairs of
brothers! He had every intention of inviting those brothers
to become “fishers of men.” How much happens in
my life, prepared and intended by God, to help me
follow him more closely? And all I see is
an accident, a coincidence? Ask him when was the
last time he just happened by.
2. At Once They Followed
Him: Jesus never calls someone when it’s perfectly convenient,
when that person has nothing better to do. No,
he calls precisely when we are in the middle of
living our life, doing what we do best, what
we do most, “casting or mending our nets.” “What
a losing formula!” we are tempted to conclude. Yet what
is it he really wants of us when he
calls? He wants a response -- a reply of love.
Love is all about preference and priority. If I
love him more than myself, I can follow him
“at once.” If I prefer him over my own activities
and life, I can follow him “immediately.” What is
the response of love I am giving or want to
give Jesus today in my life?
3. They Left Something
Behind: “Pro-choice:” That’s what God is! He wants us
to choose. But he is not indifferent about what
we choose. Every choice implies the rejection of other options.
We cannot follow someone somewhere without leaving something and
someone else behind. Peter and Andrew left their nets
behind. James and John left their boat and their
father behind. This was possible only with Jesus before them.
Yet we, too, often try to follow Christ without
leaving things and others behind: the world, comforts, my
preferences... We think that we can have it all. We
can’t. We are in danger of “taming our faith,”
bending to the demands of our passions and the
world’s insistence. Love requires a choice, a choice for the
real, complete Jesus. It asks me to reject everything
in me that is not him. How wholehearted is
my following of Christ?
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus,
you have called me and continue to call me
throughout this day. Help me to respond with love,
a love that trumps all my other loves, likes and
desires. I don’t want you to have to wait
for me, Lord. Just show me what you want and
give me the courage and generosity to give it
to you, no matter the cost.
Resolution:I will give
up something today that diminishes the attention that I
give to my spouse, family or friends.