In a depiction of the calling of two disciples, one scene shows Peter and Andrew walking toward Jesus. Another depicts Peter in the center, with Andrew behind him, and Jesus enthroned on a rock pointing toward him.
The scene is simple for a reason. Jesus’ call is simple: Follow me. Our response should be simple, too.We often complicate the call with questions, fears, or doubts, want- ing clarifications and assurances. But it is a simple imperative that requires a one-word answer: yes or no. Or as Samuel responded, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Once accepted, the call implies a new identity born of a new, deeper relationship. When Jesus calls Simon, he changes his name. In the Bible, a name change indicates a new mission or purpose. Abram was renamed Abraham to father the Old Testament people in faith.
Simon is now Cephas, or rock. His mission is to father the New Testament people in faith. He is to be a solid, un- breakable foundation for his brothers—and eventually the whole Church. His strength comes not from perfection, for we know Peter was weak, but from his acceptance of Jesus’ love and call no matter his own weakness.
Similarly, in baptism and confirmation we take new names that come with our new, deeper calls. It is a meaningful Catholic tradition that parents name their children after a saint who becomes a model for their lives. Like Peter, we are called to greatness by Jesus, who looks at us, names us, and says, “Come follow me.” Let’s live up to that beautiful, simple invitation!
—Fr. Mark Haydu, LC