30 November 2018. Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle
Reflection (Sem. Ivan Joseph F. Feniquito)
“Yes Lord! I will follow you! I will follow you wherever you go.” This is the common answer of a person who feels that he is being called to a mission. “Yes Lord!”
Mary, the Mother of Jesus gave her fiat to God to be the mother of the Messiah. “Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.” John the Baptist is the voice in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord, and proclaiming the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And in our Gospel today, the first disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John responded to the call to become fishers of men from being fishermen.
To be called like them was a humbling experience despite my weakness, nothingness, and sinfulness. I am just an ordinary person, a registered nurse who desire to serve the sick and promote healthy lifestyle in a community setting. I am no one. Who am I to be called into such a very noble vocation? I know that being a nurse is a noble profession, same as a noble vocation in serving the people, but I am just an ordinary man. Same as the first disciples called by Jesus, based on some Bible commentary, they were unschooled, unsophisticated, and simple fishermen. But still, they were called by God, entrusting them to be His agents of change in the world. I believe in the saying that Jesus did not call the qualified, but he qualify those whom He called. He makes the unworthy person to be worthy of His calling. All he needed is the willingness and readiness to be formed in His way of life.
When I first responded to the call, I have some hesitations. Yet, I plunged and entered the seminary leaving my “nets” and “boats.” I detached from my work and material things and left my family and loved ones. I let go of my confusions, doubts, hesitations, and fears, and let Christ form me in the seminary. Up to this day, I am allowing Him to steer my life and to be configured to His words and deeds believing that His mercy and grace are enough for me to respond freely. Let us imitate Mary and the Apostles, especially St. Andrew, whom we remember this day for his courage to leave his nets and boat in order to follow the Lord. The world is changing and the Church is being persecuted, but let us remain brave and calm, trusting and knowing that the life-giving word of Jesus will inspire us to continue to respond with great fervor, compassion and joy of in becoming fishers of men. Here I am Lord, ready to follow You! Amen.
The Gospel Today
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 him.