In the fourth Gospel of Matthew,18-23, we reflect upon the following verses and St. John Chrysostom’s homily:
18 “And walking by the sea of Galilee, He saw two brethren, Simon that was surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. 19 And He saith unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they left their nets, and followed Him.”
And yet John saith that they were called in another manner. Whence it is evident that this was a second call; and from many things one may perceive this. For there it is said, that they came to Him when “John was not yet cast into prison;” but here, after he was in confinement. And there Andrew calls Peter, but here Jesus calls both. And John saith, Jesus seeing Simon coming, saith, “Thou art Simon, the Son of Jona, thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.” But Matthew saith that he was already called by that name; for his words are, “Seeing Simon that was called Peter.” And from the place whence they were called, and from many other things, one may perceive this; and from their ready obedience, and abandonment of all. For now they were well instructed beforehand. But mark both their faith, and their obedience. For though they were in the midst of their work (and ye know how greedy a thing fishing is), when they heard His command, they delayed not, they procrastinated not, they said not, “let us return home, and converse with our kinsfolk,” but “they forsook all and followed,” even as Elisha did to Elijah.”Because such is the obedience which Christ seeks of us, as that we delay not even a moment of time, though something absolutely most needful should vehemently press on us. Wherefore also when some other had come unto Him, and was asking leave to bury his own father, not even this did He permit him to do; to signify that before all we ought to esteem the following of Himself.
As we consider this Gospel reading, reflect upon the urgency and obedience that we are called to when following Christ. The same urgency and obedience that is necessary as Stewards of a parish. We must become Stewards immediately, not next month, not when Church school starts, not at Christmas but as soon as possible as our Church needs our support. We must also be obedient with our Stewardship of Time, Talents and Treasures – not when we have a surplus of time, not when we have extra funds available but as soon as possible as the Church needs support for all of the ministries it provides.