Today Christ gives all of us an invitation which concerns our life and the course we wish to pursue.
In the Gospel reading, we hear about the call of Christ’s first apostles and their acceptance of his invitation. Andrew and Peter and the sons of Zebedee, became his first disciples, abandoning all their possessions in order to follow the Lord.
In worldly terms, they might be considered mad, because they left everything in order to follow him. But by the criteria set by Christ, they gained the supreme gift which he bestows on people: eternal life. These men sacrificed all they had, for God and other people.
The question which Peter addresses to Christ is very much to the point. He says: ‘We’ve given up everything. What will we gain? What benefit will we have?’. And he receives the answer from Christ that: ‘Those who abandon everything for my sake will inherit eternal life’.
But we, too, have received an invitation from Christ.
He’s called upon us to become believers in him and to be baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity.
We may have accepted this invitation, but in life we’ve often strayed from his path.
Our life is like the ships which the first disciples abandoned, which they would have had to trim in order to go out into the open waters of the turbulent sea. The rough waters are the world in which we’re called upon to live and survive.
The Lord sends us messages on a daily basis to follow him properly, to follow him and to make progress along his path, but we close our ears and believe that we’ll achieve everything just through our baptism and the occasional participation in Holy Communion.
We shouldn’t forget that some of Christ’s disciples were illiterate, but had hearts big enough to make room for obedience to God. By taking this decision in their life, they gained everything.
Because they believed in eternal life. They believed in the Kingdom of God and became Christ’s first disciples.
This ‘Follow me’ is addressed to us today by Christ. It’s not an invitation to entertainment and enjoyment. It’s an invitation to hard work and dedication to him. It’s our free choice to decide whether we’ll follow him or not.
It’s not an easy path. It’s a rough, uneven way, which involves abandoning all worldly goods and comforts and finding the true light which illumines our life and existence.
Christ’s invitation is open to all of us and to all people; ‘for there is no favoritism with God’, as Saint Paul says. It’s the haven where each of us can anchor and find rest from the vanities of this world.
Let us ask God to give us the wisdom and illumination to become aware of this and to follow the path he’s called upon us to tread, and that we may becomes heirs of his kingdom. The answer we give is up to us.