A Daily Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:19-20)

Every Advent, I take stock of where I am in my response to the Lord’s invitation to new life — my “obedience of faith.”

Is my spiritual life stronger and deeper at the start of this Advent season than it was at the end of last year’s Advent? Do I continue to love Jesus more and more each day?

Today is the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle. In the gospel at Mass, we hear the call of Andrew and Peter who immediately left their nets and followed Jesus, and then the call of James and John, the Sons of Zebedee, who likewise leave their boat follow Jesus. I imagine there is much more depth to this story than Jesus inviting and these four men immediately saying yes. I am sure there is more background knowledge on the part of Andrew, Peter, James and John regarding Jesus at the point of this invitation. But the greatest “depth” is the gift of faith, the grace that God grants to each of us as he “passes by.”

Jesus wants us to accept this grace and embrace his mission and to continue it. One of the “three comings of the Lord” in Advent is the Jesus’ daily encounters with us where he call us to set aside our own plans and to embrace his plan for our life and the moment of encounter.

What is Jesus asking me today? Who has he sent into my life today? For what purpose. Am I listening, watching, waiting, willing?

“What do you ask, Lord?”

“Help me understand, Lord.”

“Grant me courage and strengthen my will to actually do what you ask.”

Advent is about saying yes to Jesus. Will I set aside what I am doing and follow him in what he asks?

Come, Lord Jesus. We praise Thy Holy Name!

Image credit: “The Calling of Andrew and Peter” (detail) | Duccio di Buoninsegna, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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