Saint Andrew, Apostle – Readings

Commentary on Romans 10:9-18; Matthew 4:18-22

The Gospel reading is Matthew’s account of the calling of the first four disciples. Jesus says to them:

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.

And, they drop everything and go after him. They leave behind all their security and means of livelihood and even their family.

They follow Jesus in complete trust, unaware of where he is going or what will happen to them. Following Jesus is a liberating experience. To be a Christian is to be free – let us never forget that.

Yet, the story is more symbolic than actual because we know that later, they would return to their boats and their fishing and their family. Very early on, Peter got Jesus to cure his mother-in-law of a fever. What is most important is not just the external acts, but the inner attitude, to be able to use things freely and not to be dependent or clinging.

In John’s Gospel, it is significant that Andrew is called directly by Jesus while Peter is called by Andrew, who brings him to Jesus. It often happens that a ‘lesser’ person can be instrumental in calling someone who will do great work for God. Who, for instance, were the people that were influential turning points in the life of someone like, say, St Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa)? Without these key influences, what would they have become? Who brought me to where I am now? And who have I brought to Christ?

The same idea is found in the First Reading from the Letter to the Romans. Paul emphasises the need for the Gospel to be proclaimed. People cannot believe if they have never heard; they will never hear, if there is no proclamation; and there will be no proclamation unless people are sent out.

Each one of us, through our Baptism, has received a calling to go out and bring Christ into other people’s lives. We can ask Andrew to help us in following Jesus freely and unconditionally, and in learning how to share our faith effectively with those around us.

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