Sunday, January 27, 2008

Do you trust me?

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 27, 2008, Life Teen Homily:

Do you trust me? We heard that familiar story of Jesus calling the disciples by the sea and maybe we don't really listen to it because we've heard it before.

But, how would you react if Jesus came up to you suddenly – at home, in the halls of school – and said, ‘Follow me’? You see, the problem is that we already know how the story ends. When we hear Jesus go up to Peter and Andrew, James and John, we're not suprised that they drop everything and follow Him. After all, we already know where this is going. They will hear Him preach, heal, raise Lazarus from the dead. They will be there till the end, witness the Resurrection, carry on and spread the Church throughout the world. So, of course they follow.

The only problem is that while we might know all of this, when Jesus approaches them at the sea shore, they don't know any of it. Jesus asked them to give up their family, their homes, their work – everything they knew. And they had no idea where it would all lead. So, what did the apostles have that let them respond that way? Strength, courage, faith, and most importantly trust.

The disciples met Jesus – for them at the seashore – they trusted and the encounter changed everything. The same is true for us. If we really encounter Jesus in our lives, it can’t be casual. There is no Casual Jesus. "Hey, see ya around." If we really encounter Jesus, it demands a response of change and surrender in our lives. Why could the disciples give up everything so easily? Because they surrendered to Jesus.

And this is exciting! Being a follower of Jesus is not always easy – we are asked to go against the flow, to live different lives than those around us – but I promise you one thing – it is never boring; and it makes all the difference.

I think in my own life, as some of you know, I was an investigative news reporter before I entered religious life to study for the priesthood. Let me tell you, that was exciting. I covered crime - went to crime scenes, was in the courthouse. It was just like Law & Order - except the stories didn't wrap up nicely in 55 minutes. But, when I really encountered Jesus in my life 18 years ago - and for me it was an encounter in the Eucharist - that changed everything, and what an exciting adventure I have been on since.

If you feel that your life is sometimes boring, then you haven’t completely surrendered to Jesus yet. Life in Christ is NEVER boring.

Now, you may not be tending your nets at the seashore, but Jesus wants to encounter you tonight just the same. If you open your heart to Him tonight – especially as He reveals Himself to you in the Eucharist – He will ask you to follow Him and if you have the courage and trust to say “yes,” your life will never be the same.

Jesus wants you to follow Him and He also wants you to lead others to Him – as Greg said in the skit – to be Fishers of Teens! In your interactions with family and friends and others – where do you lead them? Are you leading people to Jesus by the example of your life? Or are you leading them somewhere else?

My friends, Jesus is calling you tonight to leave your ordinary, even boring, lives behind and instead to live lives of adventure with Him.

He asks only one thing – in the depths of your heart – do you trust me?

I pray that you have the courage to say yes.

May God give you peace!

No comments:

Post a Comment