THURSDAY HOMILY – 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR A
THEME: THE CALL OF ANDREW
BY: FR. KARABARI PAUL
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Today is the Feast of St. Andrew. The Gospel passage (Matthew 4:18-22) records a significant message. Andrew was a fisherman by profession. He earned his living and took care of his family from that enterprise. One would expect some sort of negotiations with Jesus who came to change his career. If someone is changing your job, you should be interested in what the new job would bring in and the risk factor compared to what you were doing previously. But nothing is mentioned as Andrew with others left everything to follow Jesus.
Sometimes, it is difficult to allow Jesus to interrupt our lives and comfort. Andrew was successful in what he was doing as he never complained about it or expressed his desire to change it. But we have to understand that Christ wants us to be faithful before we become successful. We may be successful in a legitimate business, and still, that is not God’s intention for us. And we may even struggle with the very thing that He has called us to do, yet He is happy with us. To ability to discern is key to serving Him. To allow Him change our course at any time He desires is one sign of humility or godliness. Thinking about our security first can actually stop us from doing what He desires. But the ability to know that everything about us is secured and insured in Him is our major source of peace.
The name Andrew means “manly” or “courageous” which he had to be to face the hurdles of apostleship. From the information we have available in the gospels and Acts, Andrew may not have been much of a talker, as only a dozen or so of his words are preserved in the Bible. Nor did he write any epistles. Most of what we know about him must be deduced.
It is significant that Jesus called Andrew first of all His disciples in the Gospel of John. The choice was an important one because Christ would want to choose someone who possessed a keen perception of spiritual truth and pursued the knowledge of God until he had a deep understanding. Andrew was a man of strong conviction, enabling him not only to accept Jesus as the Messiah but also to encourage Peter to become a disciple. Christ probably chose Andrew knowing that He could develop genuine humility in him, making him a useful instrument in God’s church.
Every time Andrew makes an appearance in John’s gospel, he is bringing someone to Christ. First, he brought his brother, Peter. Then he brought a boy to Jesus who had five loaves and two fish (have a read of John 6). And in John 12 he was involved in introducing a group of Greeks to Christ. Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19-20). And we are called to do the same. Jesus asks us to lead others to Him. Telling others about our faith can make some of us feel anxious. But Jesus followed His call with these words: ‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’
When we experience something new about God, or have an answer to prayer, do we make telling others a priority? And if we think telling others doesn’t make a difference, Andrew’s story tells us otherwise. Andrew brought his brother Peter to Christ, and Peter ended up bringing multitudes to Christ. The person we share our faith with today, or bring to church next Sunday, may be used by God to do things we never dreamed possible. If we do our part, God will do the rest. Be courageous. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God grant you many more fruitful years to come through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.
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