November 30, 2011
Feast of Saint Andrew, apostle
Listen to the podcast version here.
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he
saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his
brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were
fishermen. He said to them, "Come after me, and I
will make you fishers of men." At once they left
their nets and followed him. He walked along from there
and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee,
and his brother John. They were in a boat, with
their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and
immediately they left their boat and their father and followed
Introductory Prayer: Dear Jesus, I believe that you have called
me to follow you more closely today. I trust that
in this prayer, you will help me see the concrete
implications of following your will. I love you and want
to respond to all that you ask of me, today
and always. Thank you for watching over me and guiding
me home to heaven.
Petition: Make me a fisher of men,
here and now, Lord!
1. As Jesus Walked By: One summer
afternoon a priest just happened to be in the area
and visited my home. Within three years, two of my
brothers and I were following Christ on the road to
the priesthood. Jesus didn’t just happen to walk by these
two pairs of brothers! He had every intention of inviting
those brothers to become “fishers of men.” How much happens
in my life, prepared and intended by God, to help
me follow him more closely? And all I see is
an accident, a coincidence? Ask him when was the last
time he just happened by.
2. At Once They Followed Him:
Jesus never calls someone when it’s perfectly convenient, when that
person has nothing better to do. No, he calls precisely
when we are in the middle of living our life,
doing what we do best, what we do most, “casting
or mending our nets.” “What a losing formula!” we are
tempted to conclude. Yet what is it he really wants
of us when he calls? He wants a response --
a reply of love. Love is all about preference and
priority. If I love him more than myself, I can
follow him “at once.” If I prefer him over my
own activities and life, I can follow him “immediately.” What
is the response of love I am giving or want
to give Jesus today in my life?
3. They Left Something
Behind: “Pro-choice:” That’s what God is! He wants us to
choose. But he is not indifferent about what we choose.
Every choice implies the rejection of other options. We cannot
follow someone somewhere without leaving something and someone else behind.
Peter and Andrew left their nets behind. James and John
left their boat and their father behind. This was possible
only with Jesus before them. Yet we, too, often try
to follow Christ without leaving things and others behind: the
world, comforts, my preferences... We think that we can have
it all. We can’t. We are in danger of “taming
our faith,” bending to the demands of our passions and
the world’s insistence. Love requires a choice, a choice for
the real, complete Jesus. It asks me to reject everything
in me that is not him. How wholehearted is my
following of Christ?
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, you have called
me and continue to call me throughout this day. Help
me to respond with love, a love that trumps all
my other loves, likes and desires. I don’t want you
to have to wait for me, Lord. Just show me
what you want and give me the courage and generosity
to give it to you, no matter the cost.
will give up something today that diminishes the attention that
I give to my spouse, family or friends.