Monday, November 30
St. Andrew, Apostle
Matthew 4: 18-22
At once they left their nets. (Matthew 4:20)
Andrew was a Jewish fisherman during a time when Rome taxed every single catch of fish. But despite – or perhaps because of the hardships of his trade, it seems that Andrew had more than his livelihood on his mind. He was also a follower of John the Baptist, a devout man searching for the promised Messiah of Israel (John 1:35-42). Just to hear John the Baptist preach, Andrew had to travel a journey of several days from Capernaum to the Jordan Valley. So it shouldn’t surprise us that Andrew was eager and ready to respond when he finally did meet the Messiah.
Out of the many people who did hear about Jesus’ ministry in its earliest days, Andrew had a unique response. Along with his brother, Peter, and their friends, James and john, Andrew left his nets in an extraordinary act of faith. His encounter with Jesus left an imprint that made him willing to let go of everything else so that he could learn more about who this Man was.
Like Andrew, we need to be ready to leave parts of our former life aside as we seek the Lord this Advent. We can sharpen our hearing so that we can listen to Jesus and brace our feet so that we can run after Him.
This Advent, consider praying through one of the Gospels as a way to encounter Jesus. As you contemplate God’s word, see if Jesus is asking you to depart from “business as usual.” Maybe He is asking you to come away to be with Him for a while so that you can learn from Him. You may not be able to walk with Jesus as Andrew did, but you can walk with Him through the pages of the Bible.
Every day this week, the first reading for Mass comes from the Book of the prophet Isaiah. As you read these passages, ponder all the verses that prophesy about who Jesus is and what He came to do. As you discover each one, think of it as a “character trait” of the Messiah you are choosing to take on. Believe that every time you see Jesus more clearly, no matter where you see Him, you will be moved to leave your “nets” behind and follow Him more closely.
“Jesus, help me follow after you this Advent.”
Daily Reflections from “The Word Among Us”
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No ownership is implied
O Come Divine Messiah
O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Anna Hawkins
In the Bleak Midwinter – David Phelps