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Come and Follow Me

First Reading: Romans 10:9-18

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!

But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19:8-11
R. (10) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.

Gospel: Matthew 4:18-22

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.

NAB

nov 30

It began with a phone call: “Honey,” my husband said, “I applied for a job in Alabama.”

I immediately laughed at the absurd notion of moving thousands of miles from home. But as the interview process intensified and a job offer proved imminent, my husband asserted: “I really believe God is calling us to move.”

The thought terrified me. I’d grown quite attached, thankyouverymuch, to my people and my place. I could leave clothing, furniture—even the little house we’d brought our babies home to—but family and friends? The place where I was born and raised? Why? Why would God ask me to do something so painful? Anything but this, Lord, I pleaded. Except, deep inside the still, small place where God whispered to my restless heart, I knew leaving was His will: Follow Me. 

If only I could say I was like Simon, Andrew, James, and John and followed Christ’s call with heroic trust, faith, and detachment. I was more . . . reluctant.

Thankfully, God is good even when my attitude isn’t, and eventually, I dropped my security net of all things safe and familiar and began accepting our new reality.

As my will slowly conformed to God’s greater plan, extraordinary things began to happen. I began to uncover the self that had been bogged down and hidden by the comfortable complacency of the familiar. I had a baby—our beloved, surprise son—and rekindled my vocation as wife and mother. I reclaimed my voice as a writer and uplifter. We met beautiful people—kindred spirits—with whom I will remain connected for the rest of my life. I learned that God’s plan, even when shrouded beneath challenging circumstances, was neither a mistake nor an accident. He alone knew I must leave my safety net behind in order to accept His love more fully and follow Him more intentionally.

God reminded me that we are not made for comfort, as Pope Benedict XVI said, but for greatness—His greatness.

What is God asking you to leave behind, my friend, to more closely follow His way? It might not be your community; perhaps it’s an attitude, or a habit, or unforgiveness, or expectations of yourself or others, or the status quo.

Dear Lord Jesus, help me see what I am holding onto that is keeping me from hearing Your call. Give me courage to trust that Your plan for my life is no accident, that I may follow You in spirit and truth. Amen. 

photo by Edenn Yorks

Heather Renshaw is a speaker, writer, and uplifter on a mission to love and serve God with her husband and five children in the unchurched Pacific NW. You can learn more abut her here.

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