|Robert McAuliff ’95
Who are the ones that Jesus chooses to call?
He could have gone to the marketplace in Jerusalem and found the richest merchants. A ministry needs wealthy backers. He could have gone to the temple and convinced religious leaders to believe in his message. Their established authority would have contributed much needed credibility to his early preaching. He could have invited his hometown friends to be the first ones to join his ministry. At least he would have had the comfort of familiar companions in the difficult task that was ahead of him.
But he doesn’t do any of these things. He goes out to the countryside. He walks along the Sea of Galilee and calls fishermen, going about their business and tending their nets. They are unknown, uneducated, common, and poor. These earliest disciples are an example to all of us. I can only speak for myself but I, for one, don’t feel like I would be a first round draft pick as an apostle or disciple. I think most others probably feel the same way. These ordinary fishermen show us that anyone can be a follower of Christ. They prove the saying, “God doesn’t call the qualified, God qualifies the called.” It’s not about our qualifications, it’s about God’s grace.
Jesus makes us all “fishers of men” as he puts it in today’s gospel. As we live out his call to spread his Good News, can we follow his example and reach out to those we don’t know? There are many people we encounter who might benefit from hearing even the smallest message of faith if only we have the courage to speak it. Likewise, are we prepared to hear the Good News from people who are unfamiliar to us? The world is full of people of great faith and wisdom whom we might write off because they are seemingly unimpressive. If we see ourselves and others as bearers of the Gospel we will be just a little more prepared to answer Jesus’ call: “come after me.”
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