As he 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. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.
- Matthew 4:12-23
Imagine what it must have been like to be Andrew and Peter or James and John. Here you are, going about your job, and a stranger comes up to you and says “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” What must have gone through their heads? First, they probably wondered who this guy was that is talking to them. Then, they must have wondered what he meant by “fishers of men.” They clearly would have known what fishermen were, but why would they want to catch men. What a confusing thing to say!
Now imagine what it was like for those around them. This conversation did not occur in a secluded location or a private room. No, Jesus called these four right on the shores of the Sea of Galilee with all of the other fishermen within earshot. They must have been just as confused by Jesus’s statements. But their confusion would be even greater because, not only was Jesus making these strange statements, they say Peter, Andrew, James and John drop everything and go with Him. They must have thought the four of them had lost their minds.
What does a call look like in modern times? Most of us will not have an experience of going about our daily lives and having Jesus show up in person, asking us to follow Him. Yet Jesus is still calling each of us to this day. He does it through the kind words of a stranger, an article we happen to read in the paper, or a post one of our friends likes on Facebook. He does it when we encounter him at Mass in the Eucharist, at prayer in Adoration, or through a conversation with a fellow Christian. He calls us in the silence of our hearts when we least expect it. Take some time today to think about what God might be calling you to do and pray for the courage to understand His call and accept it.