5th Sunday of the Year (C) 2019

‘When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.’
Peter was the ‘alpha male’ of the group.’
Peter had a nice little business going on the sea of Galilee. He was in partnership with at least one other fishing family – Zebedee and his sons James and John. They were quite successful as they also employed others in their business.
Peter was married. Maybe James was also married.
What in the name of God possessed them to leave everything and follow this itinerant preacher/prophet?
If you have ever wondered what Jesus’ words – ‘If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.’ means, now you know.
The word ‘hate’ here does not have the same meaning as we use it today. Here it means not preferring or not regarding as more important.
We have the same meaning in Jesus’ words ; ‘If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire.’ Meaning, if something in your life is an obstacle to your relationship with God then you must consider abandoning it.
It is a case of priorities. What do I consider as more important?
It might mean abandoning something which is in itself good and praiseworthy as in the case of Peter, Andrew, James and John abandoning a successful business, lifestyle and family or as many do today to follow a career or vocation to which they feel called.
I spoke last week about gratitude to God and towards parents as a motivating factor for religion and for caring for parents.
Today we look at trust.
What motivated Peter, Andrew, James and John to leave everything and follow Jesus? They must, against all the odds, have trusted Him completely.
What an awesome character he must have been to inspire such trust.
This does not mean that their trust in him did not sometimes waver. Even Peter wavered when he was walking on the water towards Jesus. And again when fear made him deny knowing Jesus three times.
Just as a well informed gratitude to God is a great motivator, so too a hard headed trust in God is a great motivator.
My trust in God will sometimes waver especially when things go wrong just as happened with the Apostles. But maybe then I consider that if I don’t trust my God who can I trust?
The image I want you to take away with you is that of the child running into the arms of a beloved parent.
To quote the word of God; ‘Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.’