What Have We Left Behind
Most successful people would probably tell you that what separages great people from ordinary people is that great people are willling to risk making decisions, whether right or wrong, and then acting on those decisions. Great people are people who have made great choices, often very risky choices, but in the long run their choices have usually been right. Biblical history is peopled with folks who were confronted by decisions they had to make.
Just imagine the decision required of those fishermen on the shores of Lake Galilee. Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen, true, but they were businessmen. Perhaps even prosperous businessmen. Fish was a staple in the diet, and fishermen could often make a very good living. The brothers Peter and Andrew were probably business partners with the brothers James and John and most likely had a good business going. So when Jesus said to the two sets of brothers, "Follow me," He was not calling them to leave a sport or a hobby; he was asking them to leave their careers, their livlihoods, and their families! They had everything to lose.
What have we left behind to follow Him? Unless there's some pain, some discomfort, some sacrifice, then most probably we haven't left anything. Perhaps we're still fubling about in our boatrs, tossing our nets over the side, and business goes on as usual.
Yet, if we do that, the Great Fisherman might leave us and move on to someone else, and the choice might go by forever.
Examples for Us
Every year, on the Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Sunday of All Saints. After we remember the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, we remember those men and women who have shone forth over the history of the Christian Church as bearers of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is when the Incarnation is headed, the movement is always towed the descent of the Holy Spirit - after Christ redeems our fallen naure on the Cross, the Holy Spirit is sent to guide us into all truth.
God wants to live in us, to join us to Himself. This was the Divine Will from the moment of creation, finally realized on the day of Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit descends on the Apostles kto live in them. He fills them with power from on high, He grants them spiritual gifts, and enables them to walk in the commandments of Christ.
For us today, the Saints are proof of Pentecost, testimony to the ongoing Pentecost in the Church. There continue to be people whose lives are transformed in Christ, who exude the love of God, who walk faultlessly in the commandments of Christ, filled with the divine gifts of the Holy Spirit. The resurrection of Christ is the proof of His ministry, St. Paul says.
And the existence of the Saints in the continuing proof of both the work of Christ, and the activity of the Holy Spirit in the world today. And since they attain to the life that we are called to, the Saints of the Church are wonderful examples for us today.