Rounding Up Disciples

In today’s reading Jesus calls Simon and his brother Andrew.  Where did he find them?  He found them doing their everyday work—casting their nets into the sea because they were fisherman.

He simply walked up to them and said, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  They dropped everything and followed him.

Then Jesus walked on and grabbed up James and John.  What were they doing?  Their everyday work of course!  They were mending their nets and when he called them, they left their father Zebedee in a boat with the hired help.

What will YOUR discipleship story be?

Simon, Andrew, James and John all acquired a story to tell.  But their call was so significant it changed their life.  Jesus called them to be his disciples and they responded with their lives.

For most of us, our acceptance of our role as a disciple does not have to be as dramatic as that of those first century fisherman.  It is an error to think that we have to walk away from our work or family responsibilities to accept the call of discipleship.

On the contrary.  As we grow in our faith, understanding and love of God, our discipleship is expressed within our roles as spouse, parent, son,  daughter, employer, employee, etc., etc.  We commit ourselves to these roles—our everyday work—and live out our discipleship within them.

That wasn’t the case for the fisherman at that moment in time.  They had a particular call.  That may or may not be your particular call, and just because you do not drop everything and leave town, it doesn’t mean you are not saying Yes! to Jesus.

I had a teacher once who didn’t understand this and when he was in college he gave away all of his possessions, much to his parents chagrin.  He radically changed his life and it quickly became an absolute mess.  It wasn’t until he grasped a solid understanding of what it means to be called a disciple, that he was able to turn things around.

My teacher’s life imploded because he didn’t realize that he wasn’t actually following God’s will for him, but rather his own ideas about what his discipleship had to look like.

This is not uncommon when people first encounter Christ.  That first blush of faith is powerful.  When I facilitated *RCIA for people coming into the church, it wasn’t uncommon for me to field questions from men before they were even baptized, about how to become a priest.  While it did not turn out to be their call, that strong desire to serve God was revealed by their inquiry.

And that strong desire to serve God, for us, must be carried out according to our unique call, just as the fisherman followed Christ in their unique call.
In this passage from the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 1, Jesus told the fishermen that he was going to make them “fishers of men.”  That was their mission.

Every disciple is a follower of Christ, a fisher of men.  With great enthusiasm, our desire to fulfill our role as one who can help spread the Good News that salvation—eternal life—is for each of us, is discoverable in prayer, through the quiet searching of our heart, and through a spoken word or the action of another, just to name a few ways.

Regardless of how God calls you, your Yes! will benefit not only you, but all of those who are touched by your passionate and joyful discipleship.

Say Yes! to God today!

Janet Cassidy


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