Come, follow Me

Each year at Bishop Stang High School we have an all school summer reading book. This year we chose “Between the Savior and the Sea” by Bob Rice. The title gives away Peter’s struggle to follow Christ or to stay with the sea, with the life that he knew, with the life with which he was comfortable. Peter struggled with the call of Jesus to follow Him. 

This was what led us to choose this year’s school theme, “Come, follow Me” from the Gospel of St. Matthew. Jesus’ call to leave everything behind and follow Him was not just a call to the Apostles and His disciple, it is a call He still asks each and every one of us.

While the book was based on of the Gospels, it was still a novel that filled in conversations that we wouldn’t have read in the Bible. What I liked most about it was the relationship between Peter and his family. We are often told that the Apostles left everything behind to follow Jesus, but I am not sure we always grasp what that means. When you read about his wife and his daughter, you realize what it means to give up everything. He followed Jesus everywhere and left his family behind. 

Christ’s call to follow Him is not an easy one. It requires uncomfortable situations, major sacrifice and often a life we never imagined. As we know, though, the reward of following Christ is so much greater than we can imagine. In the book, Peter realizes this fairly quickly. After Peter and his companions bring in their biggest catch of fish ever, Bob Rice writes, “It was a moment that Simon always dreamed of, but now he couldn’t care less. He found something better” (14). Peter reflects on the fact that it is merely a pile of fish. I know in my life, if I really looked at what I chose over Christ, I know it’s nothing but a pile of fish. When I choose to watch TV instead of pray, when I stress out instead of relying on God, when I put more emphasis on what I want rather that what God wants for me, that is my pile of fish.

 This is what it means to choose to follow Christ. It often is a call for us to leave our comfort zone, to leave behind what we know, and “cast our nets out into the deep” so that we too can find something better.

I have found this Prayer for Following Christ. I pray that the Lord gives us the strength to continuously respond “yes” to His call to follow Him.

“Almighty God,
our hope and strength, 
without You we falter.

Help us to follow Christ
and to live according to Your will.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at

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