If nothing else, these men that followed Jesus had a zeal for Him that is hard to match. Jonah, in the First Reading, inspires the city of Nineveh to convert their hearts to Lord, turning back His wrath for their sinful ways. The apostles we encounter in today’s Gospel were out busy fishing for their livelihood and they dropped everything to follow Him.
Are we that zealous? Are we willing to proclaim God's message loudly and proudly in order to convert hearts? Are we willing to drop whatever He is asking of us to come follow Him?
This also happens to be the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. Saint Paul was anything but saintly when he first encountered Jesus. In fact, he was probably one of Jesus’ biggest enemies. He was throwing people left and right into jail who said they were Christ’s followers.
But when he was struck by grace on the road to Damascus, all that changed in an instant. His zeal made a one-eighty and was converted into whole-hearted support for the Lord’s work. He gave everything he had to Jesus with an enthusiasm that is difficult to replicate. His missions to foreign lands, the words he leaves us in his epistles, all filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Saint Paul gave all he had to become an instrument of the Lord. He turned all his gifts into instruments of the Lord’s work. He proclaimed Christ in all He did—thoughts, words, and actions. Can I claim the same in my own life?
We, of course, do all things through Christ who strengthens us, but it takes an active response on our part to His calling. When we turn our hearts toward Him, offering all we have to His service, He will do wonderful things with that offering. The soul infused with the Holy Spirit’s power can do mighty things.
Are you zealous for Jesus? How do you live out this zeal in your day-to-day?
Laurel Muff is a creator and appreciator of beautiful things. She resides with her husband and daughters in Northern California. You can find more about her here.