Jesus said to them, “Come after me;
I will make you fishers of people.”
They immediately abandoned their nets
and became his followers.
Though we celebrated Christmas 2017 three weeks ago, I can’t help smiling when I recall my experience at church on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Because this wasn’t a “business as usual” weekend, I left my post at our parish information desk to mingle with those arriving to attend the Christmas Mass. I chatted with more than one hundred people and wished a Merry Christmas to at least one thousand others. I felt as though I was in the midst of a grand family reunion. Indeed, I was!
I used to wonder why the disciples walked away from everything to follow Jesus. What was it that drew them in? Simon and Andrew were burly, hard-working men. Still, they left their livelihoods to follow Jesus. Perhaps Jesus simply couldn’t contain the wonder within him. Perhaps just being nearby was enough to draw people in. The scriptures recount numerous instances of Jesus’ interactions with lepers and blind people, sinners and the lonely, Each one found the courage to approach Jesus. This was in spite of the fact that everyone else in the vicinity avoided them at all costs.
Though I’ve never seen Jesus as his contemporaries did, I can’t imagine my life without his influence. Perhaps this is the reason I enjoyed Christmas 2017 so fully. Every Merry Christmas and every smile drew me more deeply into the miracle at hand. God’s love and God’s presence took on human form that day. No wonder Jesus was so irresistible to the disciples. No wonder Jesus is so irresistible to me!
Loving God, thank you for abiding within us and for loving us. Thank you for sending Jesus who transformed my life from the moment I first heard his name.
©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved