To come after someone means to look for someone or to find someone. An online dictionary says it means to follow someone sequentially. So, It indicates to be in order, be in the same line and follow the way of the person.
Today’s gospel narrates how Jesus calls some of His apostles. When Jesus met them, He says to them “come after me”.
When He tells the apostles today to follow or come after Him, it goes beyond just following Him around. It is a call for an intimate relationship. Therefore, to come after Him involves a way of being in the same line with Him, doing what He is doing and living like Him.
What Jesus wants.
“The Kingdom of God is at hand” has been the preaching since the time of John the baptist.
So, when John the Baptist was arrested, Jesus continued this. The Good News is that with Jesus, the Kingdom of God is already here. God now wants to reign in our hearts and in everything we do through Jesus.
This Kingdom hence demands our response. While preaching, Jesus also reveals how we are going to respond to this invitation.
He says; repent and then believe in the gospel. To repent is to change from our sinful ways to a life fruitful to God. Then, believing in the gospel indicates acceptance, trust, and confidence in the good news.
Therefore, this is believing that whatever Jesus says is true and certain and demands total obedience. A life that comes after Jesus is a life that takes Him as His model, counsellor and mentor.
So, to come after Him is the decision to allow His words to become our guide. It is the resolution to change from whatever that does not give God glory.
As Jesus Calls
As Jesus comes to the world to bring us close to God, He seeks people who are willing to take up this task after His ministry on earth.
Today, He calls some apostles like Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John with the sole injunction to become fishers of men.
They were once fishermen, but now they are going to be fishers of men. Hence, Jesus is transforming them into men who are going to be instruments of His kingdom.
As He calls them today, He also calls each one of us. He needs people who are willing to come after Him and work for Him. The world needs people whose lives and words can change and transform lives.
So, this is the time we need people who are going to bring souls back to God and not away from God.
When we are certain that we are true followers of Jesus, then our lives will be like a light to people who come in contact with us.
Instead of being instruments of hatred, immorality, wickedness, division etc, we become instruments of love, peace, unity, righteousness and progress. Jesus wants us to come after Him and become living witnesses of the gospel.
Therefore, to come after Jesus is a call to imitate Him. It is a call to work the way He works. Therefore, to come after Him means we have to be humble like Him, love like Him and Forgive like Him. Also, to come after Jesus is to live a life that touches souls. Let us make effort to come after Jesus.
Like the apostles who were called by Jesus, the call to come after Jesus demands immediate response.
None of the apostles today postponed the day he will follow Him. Immediately He calls them, they responded immediately.
Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus wants us to always say yes to him.
The yes of the apostles was enough to change their status from fishermen to fishers of men.
Their meeting with Him and their yes to Him are the secrets of their total transformation.
We meet Jesus Daily.
We meet Jesus every day. In essence, we encounter Him in the word, Blessed Sacrament, Holy Eucharist, day to day living, divine inspiration etc. But the problem is that instead of saying yes to Him, we often hear His word and go home the way we come.
We give God a No answer always. We listen and continue from where we stopped. Therefore, Let us be ready to respond positively to Him.
So, to come after Him demands true acceptance and obedience to His word.
May God help us to decide to come after Him and allow Him to take control of everything we do. May His presence be with us today. Amen.