As 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. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20
What a wonderful feast we celebrate today as we prepare to begin our Advent season. We honour St. Andrew the Apostle who gives us a perfect example of how to begin our coming Advent celebration.
This passage above reveals a lot for us to ponder. Andrew, along with his brother Peter, was a fishermen. Both of these fisherman were hard at work, when suddenly this stranger, Jesus, walked by them and called to them. They immediately left their livelihood and followed after Jesus.
Don’t miss what happened here. Specifically, there are two things that happened: 1) Jesus walked by these two fishermen and said, “Come after me.” 2) In response, these two men immediately “left their nets and followed Him.”
This story of the call of St. Andrew is quite appropriate for the beginning of Advent because Advent must be a time when Jesus calls us anew. It must be a new beginning and a new conversion for us. As Advent begins, we should hear Jesus call to us, “Come after Me!” We should hear Him invite us with an invitation to give ourselves completely to His divine plan and purpose. Listen to Him. Do you hear Him calling?
Our response, at the beginning of Advent, must be the same as St. Andrew. We must, without hesitation, leave everything to follow Him. What exactly does that mean? It means that we must let go of anything and everything that keeps us from responding to Christ. It means we must be ready and willing to do whatever Jesus asks of us. And we must be ready to do it the moment He asks.
Reflect, today, upon the fact that Advent is a time to start anew. It’s a time to let yourself be called to Christ. Listen to Him calling you and respond to Him with your whole heart.
Lord, I love You above all things. Help me to hear Your gentle yet firm voice calling me to follow You. Give me the courage I need to respond to Your gentle invitation with complete abandonment. May this Advent be a time of new beginnings and deeper resolve to follow You. Jesus, I trust in You.
Father Ed Bakker,
Priest and Missioner
Anglican Catholic Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne