Sometimes when I read the Twelve Apostles’ names, my mind wonders what did Jesus see in each one of these men that drew him to invite them to be his followers? Did Jesus see a light in their eyes or hearts, even Judas, which gave him hope in the role each would play in the establishment of his Church here on earth? Furthermore, what did these twelve men perceive in Jesus, which caused them to leave everything and everyone behind to follow?
What does Jesus see in me? I, too, am invited to “come and see,” as the Apostles were. I, too, am called to “follow Him.” To pick up my cross daily and accept the invitation to be one of his disciples. Through the gift of hindsight, the written Gospels, and 2000 years of tradition, the choice for us would appear easier. The first disciples responded with incredible faith. Yet, maybe it is equivalent to the faith we show in assenting to follow an unseen God? Regardless, how blessed are all who allow Jesus to breakthrough into their lives and come to Him.
Every encounter I have with Jesus Christ, be it in reading Scripture, receiving or adoring the Eucharist, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or as I sit in prayer with my Lord and Savior, I know I am never the same person again. Even brief encounters with His grace change and strengthen me.
With simple words, Jesus “summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.” Some Apostles come by direct invitation from Jesus, yet others begin to follow after an invitation from another whose heart burns from their encounter with Jesus. Regardless of how you come to first know of Jesus, it is only through experiencing Him directly that you truly choose to follow. That brings me to my second pondering on the calling of the Apostles. What did they see in Jesus which led them to remain and abide with Him?
I can’t imagine what those early days were like, as they traveled alongside and listened to His every word. Never before spoken words, sometimes baffling and even frightening, yet knowing in their heart this was their long-awaited Messiah offering redemption and salvation.
What I love so much about the Scriptures—they are not just accounts of what happened two thousand years ago, but they are truth and light for each of us today. Each lesson shared by Jesus still teaches and inspires you and me. Jesus makes promises not only to those within His earshot in the Holy Land but also to us. At times, I may be a little “Doubting Thomas” looking for evidence or proof for myself; however, I do believe Jesus to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. With my whole heart, mind, and soul, I have come to know and believe there is no other way to the Father than through His Son, Jesus Christ. Today, I reaffirm my decision to “come and see” and always follow Him.
Allison Gingras works for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization as National WINE Steward of the Virtual Vineyard. She is a Social Media Consultant for the Diocese of Fall River and CatholicMom.com. She is a writer, speaker, and podcaster, who founded ReconciledToYou.com and developed the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV).
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