Last year for Advent, I was given a beautiful little book of reflections from the Sisters, Immaculate Heart of Mary from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Called “Reach Out,” the book is a compilation of poignant and thought-provoking meditations for each day of the Advent and Christmas season.
From time to time during the next few weeks, I plan to share a few of their stories. If you’d like to read the rest, may I suggest that you consider purchasing “Reach Out” as an e-book during this season of anticipation? Order here.
You cannot read the call of the first Apostles without being struck by their total openness to the unknown. Seemingly without a clue as to what they were being called to, they dropped boats, nets, fishing, and family to Jesus’ “Come, follow me.” Why, we wonder? Was their perception of Jesus stunted by their limited exposure? Had they already heard rumors of his uniqueness? Was it reckless abandon to just ditch the usual routine for the unknown?
My dad and brothers often went fishing and crabbing, off at four in the morning with drinks, snacks, and cans of pork and beans to eat cold while on the boat. It was all good. Most often they came home with dinner but not always. It did not seem to matter too much, because they were as drawn to the deep bonds of boat life as much as the fish was drawn to the guppy on the hook.
I like to think that it was years of tending nets, catching and not catching fish, succeeding and failing, day in and day out, dependent on what they could only guess and hope was swimming their way that prepared the Apostles to see in Jesus a new possibility. It was the embodiment of good news itself—so good that they themselves were willing to be caught.
Like any obstinate fish, they could have refused the bait, twisting away from the hook in the final moment. Instead, they took the lure of invitation and found themselves swallowed wholly by mystery and love greater than any they could ever comprehend.
Now see? Didn’t I tell you this was great?
Readings for the Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle:
Romans 10:9-18; Psalms 19:2-5; Matthew 4:18-22