As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
In today’s Gospel Jesus calls two sets of brothers to abandon fishing careers and families to catch bigger fish: Andrew (whose feast is today) and his brother Simon Peter, along with James and John. All four leave abruptly: Andrew and Simon “at once,” Zebedee’s sons “immediately.” What inspires these men to pursue radically—even rashly—this stranger? Perhaps they intuited that Jesus was God, not just another guru. Maybe through his gaze they felt known, accepted and loved like never before. Possibly a promise of meaning and joy encountered something restless and empty within their souls.
The voice of Christ effected a similar radical reorientation in St. Ignatius’ life, unmasking his vanity and setting him on an entirely new path of life.
Why do I follow Jesus Christ? What aspects of his person and teachings attract me? Is there one person Jesus wants to “net” through my discipleship—by prayer and sacrifice on his behalf, by inviting her back to Mass, by an act of forgiveness or mercy during the Year of Mercy?
—Fr. Rob Kroll, S.J. is Superior of the Jesuit Community at Creighton Prep, Omaha, NE.
St. Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, you heard John the Baptist say:
“Behold the Lamb of God,” and you chose to follow Jesus.
Leaving your nets, you became a successful fisher of souls.
Lover of the Crucified Christ, you too were crucified like him.
Teach us to live and suffer for Him and to win many souls for Christ. Amen.
—a traditional prayer to St. AndrewPlease share the Good Word with your friends!