Message from Father John
Called To Follow and Become
Who is calling us? Christ. What does He want us to do? To follow Him. For what purpose? To make us missionaries for His Kingdom, to bring His Good News of salvation to the people around us.
Jesus’ call takes us to the very beginning of Christianity. Jesus had come to the beautiful shores of the Sea of Galilee, where fishermen were fishing and mending their nets. He saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, fishing, and He called them to follow Him. They immediately accepted His invitation, left everything behind, and followed Him. So did two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. When they were called, they left behind their father and their boat, and they followed Jesus. John and Andrew, as disciples of John the Baptist, knew Jesus. John the Baptist had pointed Him out to them as “the lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.” They had spent some time with Jesus and were very impressed with His teaching.
After we accept Christ’s invitation and respond to Him in faith, the next step is to follow Him, to become His disciples. We need to learn our faith, to know who Christ is and what He has done for us. We need to have a personal knowledge and experience of Him by participating in the Sacraments of His Church.
Christ initiated and accepted us in His Kingdom through the Sacrament of Baptism. He enlightened and empowered us with His Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Chrismation. He set the terms and conditions for our following Him when He placed the cross around our neck: “Whoever wants to come after me, let him (her) deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”
Indeed, Christ appeals to our free will and free acceptance of His call. Only when we have accepted Him does He give us our charge of action: “Go to all the nations, make disciples of them, and baptize them in the name of the father, Son and Holy Spirit.” It is no surprise that the early Disciples of Christ were called “followers of the Way.” Later the Disciples were named Christians in Antioch..
As Christians, we are called to transmit our faith and to share it with others. Christ has made all of us missionaries of His Good News. This is how the Christian Faith spread to all nations. We start with our own relatives and friends, as did Andrew and Philip. We talk to the people around us about Christ, and His Church. We strive to be good Christian examples for them and glorify our Lord with our Christian behavior. All of us need to make the effort to live our Faith as followers of Christ and share it with others by word and deed, as Jesus’ Disciples did.
Fr. John Angelis
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