The Living Rite column explores what you will see, hear, taste, touch or smell while at church this weekend.
In today’s Gospel, Andrew, Simon, James and John put down their nets, left jobs, families and inhibitions to follow a stranger.
But was Jesus a stranger? By this time, they must have heard rumors or gossip about this man who likened himself to God.
Every Sunday, we hear that voice in our head that says, “Come and I will give you food and drink to nourish your souls.” There are some days when we listen eagerly and follow. But there are others, when we may be under the weather, lack sleep or the children are objecting to going to Mass. But we get up and follow, albeit gingerly and sometimes unwillingly.
The difference between us and the apostles is that we have an advantage of the ages to know what it is that we hear in “Come, follow me.” So our decision to not heed that call is more evident, more deafening in its response.
As you look around, ponder about the statues and stained glass windows. you see depictions of saints who heeded the call. Many of their lives were fraught with trepidation and outright resistance to that call. Just like the apostles, we will meet resistance to the truth of the word. Some of us may even sacrifice our lives.
Take a look at the “Index of Titles” for the music in your hymnal or missal. See how many hymns actually start with the word “come?”
“Come and follow” is a powerful pull in that calls us out of ourselves. As Bishop Robert Barron states in many of his lectures, “to love someone is to will the good of the other.” Isn’t that what we do when we listen and follow someone who beckons, “Come and follow me?”
When I leave that hour of worship and still have daily stresses, I know my God and Savior is by my side every step of the way. That Jesus bear hug will last me all week. And there it is: “Come, follow me and let me hug you. Come follow in my footsteps.”
We do not have the slightest idea how our lives may twist and turn from this moment on. But we trust and believe that, no matter what, Jesus will be with us even in the darkest moments when we may question whether God is listening to our prayers.
Wettstein is a volunteer choir director and former director of music and liturgy at Good Shepherd Parish, Chilton.