Matthew 4:18-22 - Vocation
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
As we remember the apostle St. Andrew, the liturgy suggests to meditate on the account of his calling. I am sure that Andrew repeated that same meditation himself frequently during his years as disciple and, after Pentecost, as apostle in many different countries.
Sometimes we rush right to the rather dry elements which form part of a calling: discernment, certainty, election, renunciation, etc. In fact, every vocation implies these elements and a serious decision can only be taken after their honest consideration. However, there is something even more important at the core of a calling. I am talking about the striking experience of intimacy with God which generates a very different notion of following Him. How could a calling take place today, in a time in which Christ does not walk the shores of our everyday life in the way we hear of in the Gospel? Well, it does happen!
I dare say that it is one of the most precious graces, an amazing privilege, to perceive in your heart how Christ approaches you, how He looks at you, how He directs His words at you. Such an experience will shake your whole being, it will set you ablaze and open your soul. Nothing is as delicious as the Lord’s presence. After that, the “calling” does not merely consist of an instruction anymore. Rather than a marching order to obey, a vocation based on the experience of Christ’s presence in your life is a trustful indication of where to find more of Him. If You love someone, you will inquire where you can find him or her. Finding out where Jesus is waiting for me -- that is a core element of a Christian vocation.
The four verses of today focus entirely on this element of the vocation. We know (or can imagine) the life story of the disciples more completely and can be certain, therefore, that there were many more moments for them to discern their specific calling. The origin, however, was a simple but powerful encounter with the Lord after which they set out to follow Him unconditionally. The disposition of unconditional discipleship is the best first step when it comes to finding our vocation.
Jesus, I believe that You have a plan for my life. I am convinced that, since Your love for me is as true as Your omniscience, this plan of Yours implies the greatest level of happiness possible. All this means: I trust in You. I beg You to fortify this trust, activate this hope, fill me with the certainty that You will guide me. “Here I am, Lord.”