NOV. 30. ADVENT. WK 1. (B) MON. Matt. 4. 18-22. St Andrew.
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.
How appropriate in the first week of Advent to have the feast of an Apostle, a man invited by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be a disciple and to learn from him to be “a fisher of men”; - a job that involves saving souls; - by imitating Christ!
And is this not the role of Christians; - to bear witness to Christ’s teachings and to intercede for sinners and those who do not believe? We need to be aware of this privilege, that has been bestowed on us via our Baptism, and the duties we have as a result.
The duty of constantly drawing closer to Christ via Prayer,Sacrament and the pondering of the Scripture. These are our first responsibility (drawing closer to Christ) along with bearing witness to our love, via the practice of Charity.
And then there is the duty of becoming “Meek and Humble of Heart”, in Imitation of Christ!
These are “duties” that flow from our “call”, following Baptism; - to be a disciple of Christ!
The season of Advent highlights the fact Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, did not come into the world as any other person, born of the love of a man and a woman, but rather he was “from God” and “was God”!
This is a “mind boggling” situation that is easily overlooked due to the fact Christ “looked like” any other man, but our Faith tells us otherwise! In studying or following Christ we need to be conscious of the truth we are “learning from God” how He wants us to live!
I think this is a fact the Apostles and early disciples were astutely aware of, having followed Christ in his day-to-day life, and observed all his miracles, whereas we only “observe” Him through the Gospels and the eyes of Faith.
Advent reminds us of the fact the one we are “following” is God, and is from God; - and we definitely need to be reminded of this truth, which lies at the very heart of our Faith.
God himself realised the need for this “period of preparation” due to the enormity of this divine gift to his people, which is why Christ’s original arrival on earth was preceded by John the Baptist, whose role was “to prepare the way of the Lord”!
Sadly, two thousand years later, we easily lose sight of the enormity of God’s gift, and the fact He became man, and “invited” us to “learn from Him”, to “imitate Him” and to “follow him!
The season of Advent gives us time to ponder these truths anew, and to respond to the enormity; - not only of God’s gift; - but even more importantly to His Love for us; - despite the simple truth that we are sinners.