Come Follow Me


The mention of Mardi Gras in a way heralds the start of Lent, a somber period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, enveloped in purple. Joel’s call (2:12) to return to the Lord, tempts us to view Lent as a rather dark time, when we try to repent and practice self-denial.

Yet, Lent, if properly embraced, offers us a taste of God’s mercy and goodness. Jesus is inviting us to change our hearts, in order to be filled with divine life.

Recently, I listened to someone share a painful experience of being locked out, after doing the music ministry in the church for many, many years, due to ongoing politics. She suddenly lost the ability to sing, because she believed the lie that she was not good. It crippled her to the point that she stayed in the safety of her boat for years, until she once again heard Jesus’s call, “Come, follow me.”

Reflecting on Jesus’ invitation to the fishermen Simon, Andrew, James and John in (Mark 1:14-20) to follow him, and their immediate response to do so, revealed something profound to her. They had no clue of what lay ahead of them. If they did, they may not have abandoned their trade to follow an itinerant preacher.

Discipleship is undoubtedly costly. With this epiphany, she who previously did not want to rock the boat, now stepped out bravely. The chains that bound her were broken, and her singing voice returned reflecting the glory of God!

This Lent I am being invited by Jesus to “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4). I am no Peter, yet in humble obedience, I pray for the grace to do what God is calling me to do. Here is an opportunity to encounter Jesus in a deeper way by repenting, and willingly surrendering my life to him.

So, I repeatedly say the Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner,” like Peter, who when he saw the large catch of fish “fell at the knees of Jesus and said, ‘Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”  (Luke 5:8)

This reminds me, that when Pope Francis was asked, “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” he humbly replied, “The best summary, the one that comes more from the inside and I feel most true is: I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.”

I realize that when Jesus calls, he has a mission for me. He does want me to be his ambassador. As St. Teresa of Avila wrote, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours.”

At the start of Lent, I invite Jesus into my boat, so that I can receive the grace to move out of my comfortable position, and reach out to those who are lost, hurting, alone, and mourning the loss of a loved one. I remind myself that I just have to have an open, trusting heart.

The little sacrifices I make may draw someone closer to God. Joyce Rupp says, “Lent is a time to clear away the cultural debris that disorients me on the Christian walk. The Lenten acts of deprivation I choose are of little value unless they help my mind and heart to be more attentive and focused on one thing only: to walk the gospel message – to love as Jesus loved. All else is secondary.”

I take the hand of Peter as my traveling companion on this Lenten journey. He literally and figuratively walked the road that Jesus did. That was because he got out of his boat, left his nets, and set out on a journey that would take him from Galilee all the way to Rome.

He will help me how to respond when I stumble and fall along the way, by showing me how to pick myself up, and stay close to Jesus, by trusting his call, “Come, Follow Me.”

Viola Athaide, a student of Theology, is actively involved in parish life, leading Bible courses, the Prayer Group, and the Ministry with Maturing Adults.

    Posted at 01:16h, 03 March Reply

    Thank you Viola. Your meditation inspires us to hear and listen to Our Lord Jesus’ Call: “Come, Follow Me!” and trust in Him! It teaches us to love one another.

  • graeme quinlan
    Posted at 04:04h, 03 March Reply

    As I have been for some time now striving to grow more deeply into my Faith. I heard these words of St Teresa, quite some time back: Quote: I have no body now but yours, no hands . no feet on earth but yours. These words have become deeply embedded into my approach to dealing with the many situations that I am often confronted with. Someone reaching out for help during a crisis, someone who just needs someone to talk to. You know ,when I am suddenly caught up , confronted, I simply ask, Jesus please walk with me in this moment. Jesus I trust in you , I will follow you always.I am no Saint.

  • Karen Arthurs
    Posted at 06:40h, 03 March Reply

    I do like Rupp’s view of seeing Lent as a time to go inward and clear away cultural debris. It echoes a recent posting by Pope Francis on Lent, “Do You Want To Fast This Lent ?”. It begins a list of eleven suggestions: Fast from hurting words and say kind words, and finishes with: Fast from words; be silent and listen. Thanks for sharing Viola.

  • Vicky Chen
    Posted at 07:19h, 03 March Reply

    Thank you for this Lenten reflection. Sorry to hear the incidence of a music person being locked out after years of service. There may be more facts to that story. Blessings.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 09:32h, 03 March Reply

    Thank you Viola!

  • Lorraine Majcen
    Posted at 09:37h, 03 March Reply

    Thank you Viola for being a companion on my journey with Jesus. I am glad to join you, in your boat of faith, trust and surrender.

  • Lalita Figueredo
    Posted at 09:52h, 03 March Reply

    I truly believe that by following Christ’s call manifested in how we choose to live our lives, we are on the path to salvation.

  • Mike Hyland
    Posted at 10:32h, 03 March Reply

    Thanks Viola! A very helpful message.

  • Tonis Kilp
    Posted at 12:44h, 03 March Reply

    Thank you very much for sharing, we all need to go out into deeper waters, take a chance andwho knows what will come of it. Take care and all the best, may God bless you, tonis.

  • Sylvia Lee
    Posted at 16:00h, 03 March Reply

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring message during Lent, Viola.
    Along our spiritual journey ~~ to love as Jesus loved.

    Take care. God bless.

  • Rosa Scarpino
    Posted at 10:04h, 04 March Reply

    All of us have a purpose in our lives and when the Lord calls, we answer “here I am Lord, I come to do your will” And as Saint Theresa of Calcutta said we are not always called to do great things, but we do small things with great love (sorry the quote might not be exact). If we all do our little part, great things can be accomplished. Thank you Viola for your reflections, they are so full of insight and wisdom. God bless you, Rosa.

Post A Comment

Subscribe to igNation

Subscribe to receive our latest articles delivered right to your inbox!