Leaving Home for Sake of the Mission

by Kathleen Glavich, SND on January 20, 2021

in Articles

My friend Andy Woconish, who ministered with me at St. Dominic Church, wrote an imaginative piece on a Gospel story that I think will make you chuckle. He agreed to be my guest blogger this week. . . .

This coming Sunday we hear a familiar gospel story about the call of the first Apostles of Jesus. The story goes that Jesus saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, casting their nets into the sea. Jesus calls to them and they follow him. The story continues that a little farther down the shore Jesus sees two more brothers, James and John, fishing with their father, Zebedee. Jesus calls to them and they follow him as well. Just like that!  

But what about Zebedee? The poor fellow is left to tend to the fishing with just the hired help. What might he have thought as he watched his two sons walk off with a stranger that promised only to make them “fishers of men.” How would his sons make money to survive? What about the work to be done on the boat? What about the family business? What about those abandoned, broken nets?   

Let’s have a little fun. Perhaps if there were cell phones back then we can get a little creative and imagine Zebedee’s and his son’s text messages:
“James and John. Fine then, just leave your mother and me all alone. We can fend for ourselves! Never mind the hired workers do a quarter of the work that you two can. We’re gonna’ starve! How’s the ‘fishing of men’ coming along? I don’t even know what that means. I wonder about you two sometimes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about THAT Nazarene! Anyhow, I’ll be sending you some shekels.   

Love you—Pop.  
P.S. Text your mother, no fighting, and don’t take any wooden denarii.”
“Hey Pop! Don’t be so apocalyptic! You and mom are not going to starve. THAT Nazarene as you call him is  actually a really cool guy. Still don’t know what ‘fishers of men’ is all about, but we do travel with some pretty neat ladies. Gotta’ admit, when we left you looked pretty silly standing there scratching your head. We’re getting along quite well—haven’t had a fight in over a week! Pretty good for your ‘Sons of Thunder’ as you like to call us. Jesus has taught us how to live more peacefully. He calls us friends! Say ‘hi’ to mom for us. We’ll text her soon. Next time we’re in town we’ll do some fishing together. Simon and Andrew say ‘hello.’   
Love— James and John.
P.S. Thanks for the shekels. Please send more.” 

It’s funny how life often calls us to pull away from family in order to fulfill dreams and to become all that God has intended for us to be. This growing and shaping is sometimes joyful, and sometimes painful. We must remember that it isn’t always about us—that there are loved ones that can be left in the wake of our choices.  

The Father loved his Son, Jesus. Jesus had to leave his Father to become human like us. Zebedee loved his sons, James and John. James and John had to leave their father to become more like Jesus. In life, as in death, we grieve these losses. Let’s not miss the joy to be experienced along the way. We don’t know if James and John ever returned to fish with their father, to drink some wine together, or to fix those broken nets. We do know, however, that they became wonderful “fishers of men.” Let us pray: Lord, as I walk into whatever lies ahead, shape and use me for your glory. Amen.  

• What have you given up to follow Jesus and live his Way?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Matthew Clark January 21, 2021 at 10:41 am

Can you please add the email address above?


Kathleen Glavich, SND January 25, 2021 at 8:53 am

Matthew, I’m not sure what you are asking. If you mean to have my posts appear in your email account automatically, that feature seems to have disappeared from my website along with others. So you will have to bookmark my blog or check it every Wednesday. By April our whole website system will be refurbished and improved.


Sue January 30, 2021 at 12:12 am

….. can i just wait and say my “good byes”!!?! You can think of soooo many things they could have said!!! Thanks for the “fun” of thinking of that
situation with Jesus. I loved it.


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