Called. And recalled.
If Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” — what would our answer be? Let’s say that we, like Peter, answer correctly, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” but do not quite fully understand what it means. After Peter confessed Christ, he opposed Jesus’ first prediction of the passion, then the Apostle was rebuked (Matthew 16:13-23).
Let’s examine that word, “rebuke,” which some theologians instead describe as a “recall” of Peter to be a better disciple of Christ and to follow Him to be an instrument of Christ’s love and mercy to others.
It is like when we buy an item at the store, and later we find out the manufacturer has recalled the item due to certain defects because the item did not meet expectations of working a certain way. The defective item is discarded or taken out of circulation. Are we not constantly on recall? But unlike a store item, we are not discarded or taken out of circulation. Instead, Jesus recalls us through His sacraments and Word to a new life of discipleship in Him.
This recall to discipleship means fully embodying the whole salvific message of Jesus Christ and following Him in a vocation within the Church. A true Christian disciple takes on the life, passion, suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a personal invitation to look deeper within our hearts and minds and answer His call.
The good news is that Jesus Christ is constantly inviting us to discover Him, not to be thrown away or discarded but to start again and again; to constantly grow in embodying Christ-like behavior and actions. We have the sacramental life of the Church and, in a particular way, the sacrament of Reconciliation and the partaking of His Body and Blood at the altar of the Lord. We also have His living Word and a community of faithful Christians, among other instances where Jesus is inviting us to grow in relationship with Him and be faithful disciples.
The discipleship of Jesus and the call to any vocation in the Church (marriage, religious life, priesthood, or single life) encompasses a spectrum of demands and rewards, sacrifices, and joys of each follower of Jesus. Those people preparing for any vocation require, first and foremost, to be faithful Catholics by regularly attending Mass, especially on Sundays, participating in Reconciliation, listening to His word, and acting Christ-like in everyday life.
The same Jesus from which we are being fed in the Word and Eucharist extends the invitation again to become faithful disciples. Just like He gives us forgiveness, we are called to go beyond and act entirely as disciples by forgiving one another. We should not be afraid to commit ourselves and be a disciple of Christ as we prepare for or live any vocation within the Church. Even when we fail, God will be there to help us get up and move along the way, trusting in Him as He continues to work with us and bring us to a deeper understanding of the Paschal Mystery. In the same way that Jesus did not give up on Peter or other people in Scripture, He is not going to give up on us.