Monday, November 30, 2015

Come After Me

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring [the] good news!”  Romans 10:14-15

“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.  Matthew 4:19-20

The first rule is simply this: 

live this life
and do whatever is done,
in a spirit of Thanksgiving. 

Abandon attempts to achieve security,
they are futile,

give up the search for wealth,
it is demeaning,

quit the search for salvation,
it is selfish,

and come to comfortable rest
in the certainty that those who
participate in this life
with an attitude of Thanksgiving
will receive its full promise.

(From Always We Begin Again: The Benedictine Way of Living by John McQuiston II)

Our readings contrast two kinds of people – those who hear and believe and those who hear and ignore.  The first group is the smallest of the two.  On this Feast of St. Andrew, we focus on the success of his calling (and that of his brother) as an example for us to imitate. The brothers immediately left their life behind and followed Jesus. 

But why?  We have no hint of what was so compelling about the words and deeds of this Jewish son of a carpenter.  They just did.  On this the first weekday of the first week in Advent, we get a prime example of disciples who were willing to change when they encountered the Word of God. 

Change.  Like St. Andrew, we are asked to do nothing less.  We are asked to change when we are in the presence of God.  We are asked to respond when we are put to the test of St. Andrew. As we learned in life and in the reading from Romans, many more do not accept the call to conversion, repentance and change.   As often in the past, many people in Israel did not accept the prophetic message delivered in their midst.  Have we a better record?

We celebrate both those who bring Good News and those whose ears are open. The parts of the body that bring the messenger with welcome news are praised.  “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring [the] good news!”  Also, remember Luke 11:27 (“While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.”)

Do what you can to open your ears and heart this season as we begin again our feeble, human attempts. We do not always want to be in the majority.  Sometimes, being in the minority is just right.

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