Hear the Voice of God

St. Francis at Prayer

From Our Pastor

The readings for today invite us to be transformed by the call of Jesus. We continue hearing about God calling us to continue hearing His voice, and God wants us to respond graciously to His call.

In the first reading, Jonah hears God’s call and sets off for Nineveh. The psalm asks God to show us the path he desires for us. The second reading tells us that the world as we know it is passing away. The Gospel recounts Jesus’ call for repentance and the call of Simon, Peter, and Andrew. The call of the first disciples illustrates the concept of vocation and the transformative journey of following Jesus, changing one’s life direction to align with His mission.

When we read today’s Gospel, it’s impossible to overlook the immediate reaction of Simon and Andrew to Jesus’s question. That proximity is a subject for contemplation as we weigh up our personal reaction to our own Apostleship in Christ.

What, when we hear Christ’s message, do we do? What do we say? What, fundamentally, do we change in our life? Simon’s and Andrew’s lives changed dramatically. You could say that they changed instantly, and in many ways, they did. But there must have been some longing well before they met their Savior, some desire to seek the truth somewhere in the depths of their being. And that is where we begin. Yes, in our own lives, we can take that desire to seek the Truth and use it as a foundation for following Jesus. We are all born to seek and find the truth of our existence and develop communion with the source of our creation.

When we study this Gospel passage, we can be tempted to think we are forsaken. After all, Christ didn’t just walk past our car as we got out and say: ‘Come, follow me.’ Yet, even the first disciples had choices; they had free will. They didn’t have to follow. It is doubtful that they felt pressured. No, they were already searching, seeking communion, and waiting for the grace of a moment with Jesus, face to face. So, we are not forsaken. Look at what we have: The Gospels, the great traditions of the Church, the lives of the saints, and endless writings all pointing towards living in and for Jesus. All of this is a God-bestowed grace, a pathway into his presence. And we are invited onto that pathway.

Throwing down those fishing nets, the disciples may have had worries, just as we have worries too. We still face difficulties, trials, and any number of hardships. But to follow Jesus does not mean a miracle cure from difficulties.

He Himself died on the cross for us. There will be pain. Our major fault is seeking a path without thorns. There is no such path that leads to Christ. He wore those thorns around his head; they pressed into his head and made him bleed. No, we will need to embrace those darker shadows as we journey. But we can use the disciples’ immediate response – a response born from love – as inspiration as we make our wonderful journey to Jesus. He said: I will make you fishers of people. And so, let us live in His image in all we do and are, especially as we face our darkest trials so that many others may follow. Amen.

Peace and all good, Friar Oscar

(En Español)

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