November 30, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle

Matthew 4:18-22

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.

Reflection (Sem. Jul Elden Nuique):

            “Peter and his brother Andrew… at once left their nets and followed him.”  When Jesus called the two fishermen, they dropped everything and strode after him at once.  Is it possible that the brothers who were busy with their jobs simply threw away their security and traveled the countryside with a complete stranger?  That was not the case.  As Paul says in his letter to the Romans, “How can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?”  Most probably, Jesus was already famous by the time their paths crossed!

            Now the interesting question is, “Have you heard about Jesus?”  If you are reading this reflection uploaded into a website made by seminarians, then Jesus must be very familiar to you.  This must be close to the hundredth time that you have heard or read about him.  The things he has done and the words he has preached during his earthly ministry are surely memorable to you.  Because you have heard about Jesus, and believed in his existence, have you done as Andrew did and dropped everything to follow the Christ?  To be clear, not everyone can enter the seminary; women priests are still not legal in the Roman Catholic Church.  However, in our own ways, we can unhesitatingly follow Christ.  We follow him whenever we do as he did by helping the needy, going out of our way to comfort the sorrowing, taking time out to listen to those who mourn.  Giving away financial wealth is not the only way to follow Christ.  Living out the Gospel values that Jesus himself lived out is the surest way to imitate him.  We drop everything that we have when we decide to be his follower and act on that decision.  We forget about our comforts and depend on God for everything.  “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

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