November 30, 2016 (Wednesday)
St. Andrew, apostle
Rom 10:9-18 • Ps 19
THE CALL OF THE FIRST DISCIPLE
18As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. 19He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him. 21He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, 22and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
I WILL MAKE YOU FISHERS OF MEN.
At the start of his mission, Jesus calls four fishermen to follow him—Simon and his brother Andrew, then James and his brother John. He will make them fishers of men.
The call is mysterious. Jesus does not consider their credentials. Can they learn? Can they follow instructions? Will they persevere? Jesus takes risks.
Given their present work, the four disciples must be responsible, courageous, and sturdy. They, too, have the ability to risk. Their muscles must be well developed as they can throw nets as far as possible to catch more fish. After fishing, they mend their nets and make them ready for another catch next day or night.
Just as they easily throw nets and mend them, they also find no difficulty in leaving these behind when Jesus calls them. What makes them respond so easily? We can only guess. We presume they have heard Jesus’ earlier invitation, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” We cannot belittle these fisher folk. They have been waiting for the coming of God as preached by the Messiah. Long have they been oppressed by the toll tax imposed by the Romans before they could get their catch to the market. Their new calling is to engage in the spread of God’s Kingdom.