Feast of Saint Andrew

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Matthew 4:18-22

Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus calls his first disciples. What is it about this scene that is so peaceful and right? Somehow it gets at the very heart of Jesus’ life and work, revealing what he is about. He comes into the world as the second person of the Blessed Trinity, a representative from the community that is God—and thus his basic purpose is to draw the world into community around him.

Jesus says to Simon and Andrew, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” This tells us something about how God acts. He is direct and in-your-face; he does the choosing. “Come after me,” Jesus says. He is not offering a doctrine, a theology, or a set of beliefs. He is offering himself. It’s as if he’s saying, “Walk in my path; walk in imitation of me.”

Finally, Jesus explains, “I will make you fishers of men.” This is one of the best one-liners in Scripture. Notice the first part of the phrase: “I will make you . . .” This is counter to the culture’s prevailing view that we’re self-made, that we invent and define our own reality. Jesus puts this lie to bed. We learn from him that it’s God who acts, and if we give ourselves to his creative power, he will make us into something far better than we ever could.

Reflect: How has our culture’s focus on being self-made or self-sufficient affected your life and your trust in God’s providence? Do you let God act first or do you expect him to “make up” for what you cannot accomplish yourself?

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