The call of the Apostles is important in the mission of the Church. The Apostles become the instruments, the hands and feet, the announcers of the Good News of Jesus. In the first three Gospels Jesus goes out and looks for the Apostles. In the Gospel of John, the Apostles come looking for Him.
“Rabbi, where are you staying? Where do you live?” Peter and Andrew were attracted to Jesus. More than just curiosity must have drawn them to introduce themselves and to ask the intimate question, “Where are you staying?” When we first meet someone we introduce ourselves, shake hands or give a hug. Never would we think to invite ourselves for a visit upon just meeting someone. The home, the dwelling is considered intimate space. To enter someone’s home is to establish intimacy with them. That’s one of the main reasons that Jesus was criticized—for not only entering the home of sinners, but for eating and drinking with them. Apparently Our Lord was not prejudice. He didn’t ask Peter and Andrew about their political views, whether or not they said their prayers every day, He did not ask about their family background. In other words, their attraction to Him was all that mattered. That’s usually where faith starts—attraction—just a little spark. A retreat, a song, a kind word from a minister—can be the beginning of a life-long journey of faith. Naturally the spark has to be nurtured. Conversation is vital to any relationship. Prayer is our conversation with the Lord—has to happen every day—like breathing. Prayer is how we get re-energized. We can easily run on empty. Many distractions, countless negative forces, life crisis can deplete our enthusiasm. Our relationship with Jesus has to remain strong, especially in the face of adversity.
So many factors can bring us down. Everything can be running smoothly, then without warning we receive bad news, or experience a death, or have to face a physical limitation. Life is full of surprises—some are tuff to handle. Consider that the most difficult challenge we will ever face is our self. We can become our worse enemy. Guilt from the past, regrets, unmet expectations—the voice scream at us when we feel down—sometimes because of other situations. The devil’s favorite time to attack is when we feel bad about our self. We tend to listen to the negative and we forget that we have been personal guests of Jesus Christ.
We have friends in high places. Better said, we have a friend in a high place. Jesus is our friend. Just like the first Apostles, He has invited us to stay with Him—to abide with Him and He with us. There is no more intimate communication than the Holy Eucharist. We sit at Table to eat and drink Jesus Christ. He comes into our soul and at the same instant we are sitting at the heavenly Table—His Home. In the Eucharist we already participate of the eternal banquet of life with all the saints. The Lord has seen us when we cry. He has seen us when we are happy. Jesus has watched us in our darkest sin and He continues to invite us to come and stay with Him. Of course, we are unworthy and never will be worthy. Quite frankly, because of our smallness, God shows us His mercy. Little wonder that Peter and Andrew were so excited and ran to tell the others, “We have found the Messiah.”—someone who was not full of rules and regulations but someone who announced freedom—dignity—unconditional love. Simon was willing to accept a change of name to Cephas—no questions. What are we willing to change? What are we willing to accept without questions? The invitation is real—always new. “Come and you will see.”
We have come; we have heard. Now all that we have to do is to open the eyes of our heart to experience the unconditional love that God has for each of us.