Have you noticed how most preachers and teachers seem to gloss over the fact that Saint Peter was married and probably had a family? They were probably part of the gathering at the house of Peter’s mother-in-law. No doubt some of the other apostles had wives and children and yet the Scriptures never mention them. Did their wives and families travel about with them? Or did the apostles abandon their families after they left everything to follow Our Lord? We’re simply not told and, I suppose, we can speculate about it until the cows come home. And yet no matter what the situation really was, there can be no doubt at all that the apostles and many other disciples made a huge personal sacrifice to follow Our Lord.
Something about Jesus compelled these men to give up so much to follow him. Our Lord’s teachings and his miraculous works convinced them to give up their jobs, their homes, their familiar surroundings, and possibly even their families in order to follow him wherever he went. It must surely have been their experience of Jesus that helped them sacrifice so much for him—even their very lives. And it wasn’t just a one-time experience. As they saw more and more of who he was every day, their deepening relationship with him only served to confirm and strengthen their initial decision to give up so much for him.
And so today, how would we describe our own relationship with Our Lord? As religious, we follow in the footsteps of the apostles, as we have left everything in order to follow him. But do we still see him alive and at work in our life and in the world? After a few decades in the religious life we may feel that something is lacking in our life, and if it is, then we should ask Our Lord for more. And, unlike poor Oliver Twist, we shouldn’t feel guilty about asking for more.
We shouldn’t be afraid to ask God to fill us with more of his presence. In faith, and like Hannah, whom we heard about yesterday, we should go ahead and tell God that we need to know him more and that we need him to touch our lives more fully. Our Lord was there for the apostles and his early disciples, and he is here for us: a great treasure to be discovered and rediscovered day after day after day.