Monday, January 10, 2011

Come After Me

January 10, 2011
Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

For to which of the angels did God ever say: "You are my son; this day I have begotten you"? Or again: "I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me"? And again, when he leads the first-born into the world, he says: "Let all the angels of God worship him." Hebrews 1:5-6

"This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. Mark 1:15-18

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

As Jesus begins his public ministry along the shores of Galilee, one thing he knows for certain. He can not do this work alone. He already knows that his days are numbered. So he needs to select some workers to carry on with him and after him.

Mark’s description of the recruitment of the apostles is amazingly efficient. Simon, Andrew, James and John are simply asked to come with Jesus. They simply follow.

There are no display ads in The Washington Post or on There is no headhunter, job fair, engraved invitation, or offer letter. Just a request. “Follow me.” And just a simple response. They abandoned their nets and followed him.

These men stepped out of their proverbial comfort zone and careers and followed this 30-year-old itinerant preacher around the region. Even after the resurrection when Jesus reunites with these same men on the shores of this same lake, his request remains simple. If you love me, then feed my sheep.

Jesus has not changed his approach with us either. He has a simple request for us as well. Follow me. Feed my lambs. Our response is what sets us apart from public charity and social work. We say “Yes” because Jesus asks us.

Who is he asking you to serve? The homeless in the county hypothermia shelter? Those without coats? Youth? The sick and injured? Those in prison? Those with mental illness? How can you support Jesus and these least among us?

Please pray especially for the victims of violent crimes, including those killed and seriously injured in Arizona last weekend.