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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"
Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Andrew. Known as Peter's brother and a follower of John the Baptist, Andrew accepted Jesus' invitation to become one of his first and closest Apostles. Like Peter, Andrew later became a martyr for the faith brutally undergoing crucifixion. He's honored as the Patron Saint of Scotland, Greece, Russia, Romania, and the Ukraine.
On a personal note, if I ever gave birth to a son I'd choose the name Andrew. What if he accepted the call to become a "fisher of men" and joined the priesthood? What a proud mama I'd be!
Joy of Gazing Featured in Magnificat's Meditation of the Day is Saint Theresa of Avila's poem To Saint Andrew. She ends each stanza with the follow words: What joy will gazing on You be?
I pondered this question in light of a Christian's call to follow Jesus. Some people may be called to religious life. Others may be called to the vocation of marriage or to the single life. All of us no matter our chosen vocation can become fishers of men (and women) by radiating the joy of Christ in our decisions and actions. By gazing up at the crucifix during Mass, a crucifix in our homes, or the crucifix we wear, we can prayerfully meditate on ways to best serve our community. Minister in communities with similar problems and issues the Apostles often experienced themselves.
How can I be a better disciple of Christ? What can I do to radiate joy and love toward others? Am I willing to become a martyr for the faith?
Confess Jesus is Lord Saint Paul in his Letter to the Romans states: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
It's sad when people profane Christ's name instead of proclaiming it with joy. Within our highly secularized world, the idea of being saved becomes selfish and meaningless. We can "save" ourselves from bullying by becoming a bully. We can save ourselves from family discord by filing for divorce. We can save ourselves from emotional pain by blurring our minds with drugs and alcohol. Why don't we rely on Christ Jesus to save us from our burdens and sufferings? Jesus is Lord! He loves us so much! Yet, we turn our backs away from him. We avoid the joy of gazing into his life and following his example. It's too hard. It's too complicated. It's too against our modern ways!
Have there been times in my life when I thought badly of Christ and blamed him for my sufferings? Have I ever turned my back away from him? Have I ever been a non-believer relying on secular conveniences for happiness and content?
Come after Me, My Child! We're blessed by many generous women and men who've consecrated their lives to Christ and His Church. I'd like to send a special THANK-YOU to all of our priests and religious. Their joy for Christ radiates in their humble, courageous, and dedicated service to Catholics around the world!
This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin. To read more of her writings, please follow her blog Jennifer's Spectrum of Spirituality