“Advent is the ‘sacrament’ of the presence of God in His world, in the Mystery of Christ at work in history… This mystery is the revelation of God Himself in His Incarnate Son. But it is not merely a manifestation of the Divine Perfections, it is the concrete plan of God for the salvation of men and the restoration of the whole world in Christ.”
~Fr. Thomas Merton, OCSO
Monday, November 30, 2015 ~ First Week in the Season of Advent
Saint Andrew, Apostle
Holy Gospel: Matthew 4:18-22 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.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
Meditation: Notice that when Jesus began his public ministry he went everywhere he could to speak to those who would listen to him about the kingdom of God. He chose as his closest friends and coworkers those who were ready to follow as his disciples and he gave them an unusual mission – “to catch people for the kingdom of God.” And what kind of disciples did Jesus choose? He starts by choosing hard working, hard playing, everyday people, beginning with fishermen. In the choice of the first apostles we see a characteristic feature of Jesus’ work by choosing ordinary, everyday people like you and me. They were non-professionals, had no wealth or position of power or fame in society. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special marks of education, and no social advantages. Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these individuals, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and guidance. So when the Lord calls each of us to be his disciples, we must not think we have nothing to offer him in exchange. The Lord takes what ordinary people like us can offer, and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. So don’t shortchange yourself – we all have something to offer by following Christ and taking life’s cues from him.
Prayer: We humbly implore your majesty, O Lord, that, just as the blessed Apostle Andrew was for your Church a preacher and pastor, so he may be for us a constant intercessor before you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: God wants others to see the light of Christ in us in the way we live, speak, and witness the joy of the gospel. Paul the Apostles says, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ Jesus always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15). And so we might ask ourselves today: Do I show others around me the joy of the gospel by living my life in witness to Christ’s teachings? Do I pray for my neighbors, co-workers, and relatives that they may come to personally know the Lord Jesus Christ and grow in the knowledge of his love?