Contemplating the Gospel: Second Sunday after Pentecost

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.  (Matthew. 4:18-23).

 In the Gospel  which is read at this Sunday's Liturgy, we hear the words   of Christ; “Come, follow  Me!” What is the meaning of this invitation? When Christ said these words, He was asking His listeners to do two things: to live with Him and to imitate Him.  Christ, first of all, asked the Apostles to come follow Him. The Lord had just begun the work for which He came down from Heaven. As He walked along the seashore,

He saw Peter and Andrew, and later James and John, working on their nets by the sea.  They were fishermen. It   was to them that the  words were first spoken.  These four men responded  to the Lord’s call; they left  their nets and went after  Christ. They were the first  of the Twelve Apostles.  These Apostles, and others  whom Christ later called,  not only followed the Lord  in a physical sense, they  also imitated Him in their  way of living. As we look  upon their lives, there is  something that reminds us  of the Lord Jesus.  Christians down  through past centuries  have also heard the plea:  “Come follow Me!”

They  could no longer follow Him  physically down the dusty  roads of the Holy Land,  but they could imitate Him  in their daily living, and this  is what they did. Take the  example of what  happened in Antioch,  Syria. After the birth of the  Church in Jerusalem,  Antioch became the center  of growing Christianity. St.  Peter was bishop there  before he was Bishop in  Rome. The believers in  Antioch so imitated Christ,  so followed Him, that the  enemies of the Church  began to call them names.  And do you know what  name they gave to those  early “believers” in the  Lord? They called them  “Christians,” followers of  Christ. Yes, this name was  first used in Antioch.

There  must have been something  in the way those people  lived and spoke that  reminded others of Christ.  So they called them  “Christians” (followers of  Christ). They didn’t realize  what a marvelous  compliment they were  paying to those people!  In the present day,  this invitation also comes  to us from Christ. His voice  comes down from the past,  and we hear it now:  “Come follow Me!” We  cannot follow Him  physically, because He has  long since gone to be with  His Father in Heaven.

But  we can and we must follow  Him, imitate Him in the way  we live.  One of the great  tragedies of our day is that  Christians and non-  Christians live practically the  same lives. It is difficult to  tell one from the other.  Jesus once said that  people would be able to  tell the difference: “By this  shall all men know that  you are My disciples, that  you have love for one  another.” 

To truly be a  follower of Christ is no  easy task. Christ Himself  compared it to bearing a  cross. “Whoever wishes to  come after Me, let him  deny himself, take up his  cross and follow Me.” We  are to deny ourselves  every sinful impulse and  desire, we are to submit  ourselves wholly to God’s  will. We are to seek first  God’s will and not our  own.  Every time we call  ourselves Christian, we  say, in effect, that we are  following Christ. We must  be careful to follow in  deed as well as in  word.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

Comments

Obama doesn't let a little beheading interfere with golf

Even television host Jimmy Fallon thinks Obama's golf game is obsessive.

Global warming alarmists switch to rainfall woes

Detroit had the second highest daily rainfall since the government began keeping records in 1918. The highes daily rainfall record was set in 1925 for the Motor City.

This page took 0.1777seconds to load