Thursday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
At the start of the second week of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius provides a prayer called “The Kingdom of Christ,” where we are to ask for the grace “not to be deaf to His call, but prompt and diligent to accomplish His most holy will.” In today’s gospel, we see Simon, James, and John living out this very grace. One minute, they are fishermen. The next, Jesus asks them to follow Him. And they do. They drop everything they are doing at that moment, and leave it behind like an old newspaper. This is a great challenge to us. How on earth can we possibly hope to just follow Jesus at the drop of a hat as they did?
The first thing to remember is that Jesus had already been at work in their lives by this time, and they were well aware of it. Yesterday, we saw Jesus healing Simon’s mother-in-law. Today, we see Him command them to cast their nets, and they bring in a big haul of fish. They respond to the Lord so promptly because they know how He has been at work in their lives. As we see with Simon, there is also an awareness that they do not always react well to God’s work in their lives. We are no different. If we are to follow God, we must develop that desire to do so within ourselves. And this desire can only come through gratitude. Are we truly aware of what God does in our lives, or do we attribute it to ourselves (who have everything from God to begin with) wherever possible? Are we aware of how we have failed to respond to God, or are we content with what we have done?