Because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent?
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
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-translations
In the Gospel on today’s feast of St. Andrew, Jesus calls Peter and Andrew from their fishing and invites them to be fishers of men. And, amazingly, they say “yes”. What was it about Christ that was so compelling that they would put aside the urgent task of earning their daily bread and focus instead on his message? Perhaps it was a depth of peace they saw in him that they yearned for themselves. Or a confidence so inspiring that, as Paul says in today’s epistle, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
Jesus’ message of peace, unity, equality and love must have spoken to the heart’s core of an oppressed people, searching for a savior. How privileged the apostles were to know Christ and to become the instruments of his mission, to play their part in salvation history. And now…it’s our turn.
How can people call on Christ in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And who will bring the message to them in word and deed? As Michael Jackson sang, “I’m startin’ with the man in the mirror.”
It’s up to each of us to pick up the mantel of St. Andrew and others and play our part in the great enterprise which is the bringing about of the Kingdom of God.
WE are the “someone”!
—Pam Coster is Executive Director of Charis Ministries. Founded in 2000, Charis Ministries reaches those in their 20s and 30s nationwide, nurturing their faith through retreats based in Ignatian spirituality. www.charisministries.org
This last day of the current liturgical year,
let us bless God for all the graces and gifts of this past year of grace and simply say:Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and always will be, world without end. Amen! —The Jesuit Prayer Team Please share the Good Word with your friends!