The Call of Andrew

Advent has barely begun yet today the Church asks us to reflect on the call of Andrew. Matthew’s account is laconic (Matthew 4. 18-22). Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee, sees two brothers casting their nets and calls them; he goes on a little further, sees two more brothers mending their nets together with their father, calls them, too; and in a twinkling of an eye, Peter, Andrew, James and John are no longer fishermen but fishers of men. We are so used to the story that it no longer shocks, but we should be shocked. Who is this Jesus whose call is so irresistible; who are these men who are ready to drop everything in order to answer? Why does it matter?

The call of Andrew, like that of the other disciples, is both individual and communal, with consequences that stretch far beyond the time and place of first-century Roman Palestine, but without Andrew’s personal response, his own commitment, it would be meaningless — a call unanswered, a path not taken. Advent is rather like that. The Church sets before us the rich treasures of the Old Testament and the Messianic hope of the Jewish people, but unless we are prepared to respond personally, to welcome Jesus as Lord and Saviour, what does it profit us? According to Matthew, Andrew wasn’t doing anything particularly ‘religious’ when Jesus’ call came but his mind and heart were open to the invitation the Word would speak. May our hearts and minds be open also.

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3 thoughts on “The Call of Andrew”

  1. This really resonates with me.
    I don’t know what path I should take next, but your wise words counsel me to open my heart and mind , and wait for the call, in faith, that it will come.

  2. John 1:40-41: One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

    The call was irresistible.

  3. This morning’s first reading at mass reflects our initial surprise at these young recruits’ alacrity : “Not everyone listens to the Good News.” But, Paul continues, “faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ. ” Andrew and the others were directly addressed by the-Word-in-person, and it was that that they found irresistible indeed.

    One is struck over and over again by the challenges posed by the *authority* with which Jesus spoke, and how radically this ‘sorted people out’ — those who followed unquestioningly, and those who would or could not.

    Without the wisdom of hindsight (call it), how, I wonder, would I have responded ? I wish, but… I’m not, anyway, surprised by Jesus’s reaction to the rich young man in Luke 18.

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