Posted by: livingscripture | November 30, 2009

First Monday of Advent – Feast of St. Andrew

From the Word of the Day

 Jesus 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.’

                                                           Jeremiah 33: 15-16                                    

 How should we live this Word

 It is very appropriate to celebrate the feast of St. Andrew at the beginning of the Advent season.  Jesus was not yet known.  He had just begun to walk the streets of Palestine when He stops at the boat of two men intent on their work.  They are casting their net into the sea in the hope of pulling it in full of fish, food for their families.  They are totally absorbed in the activity they are performing.  Certainly they do not pay much attention to the unknown passerby who is observing them.  Yet, it is precisely there, in the midst of their labor, that God reaches them.

 The sea is the life of every person with all its preoccupations, duties, unknowns.  It is absorbing activity, necessary for survival.  There is an unknown presence on the shore, in a closeness not yet fully perceived but real that questions us and solicits a choice regarding Him.  It is a decision that may radically change an entire life.  It is easy to recognize oneself in this picture of life.  To refer to Jesus as ‘unknown’ may cause perplexity in us because we do know Him.  We have adhered to Him with our Baptism and we meet Him each Sunday in the Eucharist.  But are we sure that we know Him with a lively, experiential knowledge from His Word? 

 Advent tells us that He is at the door of our heart.  He is on the shore of the river, in relationship with our life.  While we work, recreate, rejoice, or suffer, He is there.  Jesus contacts us, questions us, and asks us to follow Him in a life changing way so that we may cooperate with Him in building His Kingdom, making the world more just and more human.

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will listen to Jesus telling me that I am not alone as I struggle for the good and for justice.  I will hear Him telling me ‘I have come.  I come.  I will come so that no one will struggle in solitude, in meaninglessness, in emptiness.  Receive Me!

 Open my eyes, Lord so that I may perceive Your presence.  Open my ears that I may hear Your voice calling me.  Open my heart that I may respond with eagerness and love, ‘Here I am!’

 The voice of St. John Chrysostom, Church Doctor

 Jesus asks of us a prompt and perfect obedience.  It is an obedience that excludes every hesitation, even when there may be strong reasons to impede it.


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