What is the Cost?
When a decision involving finances arises, the practical approach is to do a CBA or “cost benefit analysis.” In other words, we take the time to review the options which provide the best approach to achieving benefits while preserving savings. (Thank you, Wikipedia!) If you have a home and a family, this is the responsible action to take.
But, now let us put ourselves in the shoes of St. Andrew the day Our Lord called to him and his brother Simon to “come and follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Did Andrew pause and run a CBA by telling Simon— “Let us see. We can abandon our livelihood and follow this Rabbi whom John the Baptist likes a lot and lose our income, our houses, our standing in the community and our lives. Or, dear brother, we can remain here by the Sea of Galilee preserving our possessions, our reputation and our lives.”
Seems like Andrew’s practical approach would be to smile kindly at this Rabbi calling him and then turn back to his work.
Making a Choice
But Andrew, and Simon, did not mull over all the options. They did not do the practical thing. They chose to leave all possessions aside to follow Jesus. We know their livelihood as fishermen was affected, they gained reputations in the Jewish community as fools and troublemakers and indeed they lost their lives. What were the benefits they achieved? What savings did they preserve?
By their decision to follow Jesus, they benefited the world by spreading His message as the Son of God. Being baptized and baptizing others, they saved their and others’ eternal lives. How amazing that this decision made over 2,000 years ago continues to impact the world today!
What Will We Decide?
In the 21st century, in the United States, we are so blessed to declare ourselves as Christians. We remain respected in the community, keep our jobs and worship without fear of losing our lives. But in an expanding secular world, our decision to remain Christians is not an easy one. We can all agree that the Catholic Church comes under attack in our culture daily. Will we, as in our imagined CBA, smile kindly at our priests? our Pope? Our Lord? And turn back to being more concerned with our material life? Or will we realize as Catholic Christians our only option is put aside our anxieties of what others might think or say or do and follow Jesus? It might mean simple acts such as saying grace when dining out. Perhaps spending additional time in Adoration, or donating the cost of that latte to the Sunday collection. We need to listen to what Jesus asks us to do. And pray we make the right decision despite the cost. The benefit of life eternal with God in Heaven will be our reward.