As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I’m inspired by and also somewhat jealous of Peter, Andrew, James and John. I’m not jealous of their call to discipleship – I know that I (and you, too!) are called to discipleship. I’m jealous of their freedom.
My own response to God rarely, if ever, comes “at once” or “immediately.” Yet, upon Jesus’ invitation, they freely walk away from their former ways of defining themselves (their work and their paternal lineage) to reorient their lives around their relationship with God. I, on the other hand, tend to cling more tightly to my nets.
I’m currently making the Spiritual Exercises in their 19th Annotation form. In my prayer, “trust me” and “follow me” continue to surface. Day after day, I ask for the grace of freedom to respond like Peter, Andrew, James and John.
How is Jesus calling you today? What net(s) do you need to leave behind?
—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division and serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House.
O Spirit of God, we ask you to help orient
all our actions by your inspirations,
carry them on by your gracious assistance,
that every prayer and work of ours
may always begin from you
and through you be happily ended.
—A prayer for spiritual freedom published in Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits
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