Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Choosing To Follow. By: C.C.

"While walking 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 fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." (Matthew 4:18-22)

Today's Gospel invites us to take an honest look and reflect on the ways that we respond to our call to follow Jesus daily. I am amazed at the complete surrender shown in this passage. Each day we are called to follow God. It is challenging to truly let go of what we cling to, and difficult to break free from what we are comfortable with. However, if these "things" are keeping us from following Jesus we need to trust Him and let go. In doing this I truly believe that we will be taken to a state of greater joy, a real joy found only through Him who is LOVE. Most of us today will not be asked to walk away from our fishing duties. We may struggle now to understand the relation of this Gospel to our current lives. I would like to ask each of you to evaluate yourselves. Briefly reflect on the things in your life that you cling to, things that have a hold on you. Reflect on the emotions you hang on to that Jesus is calling you away from to provide His healing, love, and joy. Sometimes we may not even recognize what we are being called away from until we give Him our complete self surrendered. It is when we are where God desires us to be that we can know PEACE. This idea of responding to God and letting go exceeds things in a physical sense. I write today about letting go and leaving behind emotions, behaviors, habits, addictions, friends, and anything else that prevents you from having a deeper union with God. There is so much fear of the unknown that often keeps us prisoner to old habits and familiar ways of living. There is a large amount of hesitation to simply trust, let go, and follow Him. The Gospel said that Simon, Andrew, John, and James left their things IMMEDIATELY and followed Him. Wow! How is that for faith? Lord I pray today that you help us respond to your call. Help us to see the things that prevent each of us from having a deeper relationship with You and our brothers and sisters. Let us recognize the pains of letting go and releasing all control as part of our journey to experiencing Your Joy. Keep us mindful of our actions, words, habits, and feelings so that we may do our best to always follow You. Lord I pray You stand by us through our Advent journey, help us to let go of the things that keep us from receiving you abundantly. Finally Lord I ask that You are patient with us as we struggle to respond to Your call. Forgive us when we fall short and provide us with the courage and strength to follow You immediately. Amen. (C.C.)

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