“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing. . .”
From Isaiah 8:23-9:3
Every now and then we say that a star is born:. it could be a young athlete whose precocious skills are beyond his or her years or a previously unknown singer whose first recorded song climbs to the top of the charts. Having been out of sight for the 20 or so years from the time he was 12 in the Temple until he appeared in his thirties, Jesus was an unknown person when he began his public ministry. That there was a charisma and light about him no one could argue with; he certainly fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy that from the land near the Sea of Galilee, a great light would shine on God’s people.
One of the striking features of the accounts of the call of the apostles regards the immediacy in which Simon and Andrew, James and John, left everything behind to follow this new light. What would it take for you to leave your career, family and the security of your current life to just drop everything to follow someone you had only known for a few minutes? Jesus’ light shone through his piercing eyes, his compassionate face, his caring voice, and healing hands. Simon left his wife; the brothers of Zebedee left their father and family business, all to follow a new light that had pierced the darkness of their hearts and souls.
One of the privileges of being part of our faith community is having members in our R.C.I.A. or Rite of Christian Initiation Process. Every year we have new seekers whose lives are being transformed as they experience the presence of Christ. We are privileged to pray for them and journey with them as they seek, as the first disciples did, to leave their old selves behind in search of a new way of living. May we all have the courage to follow the apostles who left behind the baggage of their past as they embraced a new journey, following the light of that new star who offers contentment and peace.