The whole thrust of this week’s readings are about the call of Jesus to Peter, Andrew, James and his brother John to follow him as disciples. The great words that Jesus spoke way back then “Follow me and you will be fishers of men” have resonated throughout the ages as many people have taken up the call of Jesus .
When Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been arrested, he left Nazareth and went to Capernaum. Herod Antipas was ruler of this territory, Galilee of the Gentiles, regarded as a region of God-forsaken pagan ways. It is here that Jesus goes to take up what is now the dangerous mission of John, to proclaim the coming of God’s kingdom.Jesus then proceeds to call Peter, Andrew, James and his brother John to follow him as disciples. Through Jesus, what has been spoken through the prophet Isaiah is at last fulfilled: “. . . the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has risen.”
The light becomes an efficacious means to express God’s involvement in human history. God manifests Himself as ‘The Light’ that disperses the darkness. The light illuminates, encircles, defines things, emphasizes the colours and gives depth to space. The light heartens and comforts: to be in an enlightened place helps us to accept reality for what it is and makes one feel happier, more certain and protected. A joy and happiness that became real in Jesus’ presence. He is the promised light that has come into our midst, His physical presence that expresses the definitive arrival of the Light. The light that shines brightly marks God’s initiative performing His first merciful and free step towards a wounded humanity.This dynamic is expressed through Jesus call of the first Apostles. He chooses them with an unequivocal call, ‘Follow Me’. Faced with God’s sudden interruption in their lives He invited them to abandon the nets and trust themselves totally to the Lord for a new ‘catch’, a new definitive horizon. At the Last Supper, the end of His earthly life, Jesus reminds His disciples ‘you did not choose me, no, I chose you’ (Jn 15:16).
This Sunday’s our Gospel invites us to remember that our personal vocation is founded on God’s original and absolutely free choice. This means that we are totally free to accept or deny his invitation to us to take up the vocation that is for us. Let us ask the Lord, for us and the whole Church, for the gift of a true conversion of our hearts enabling us to receive Christ as the only Light to follow. Christ is the only one that really dispels the darkness within and around us.