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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

November 30th: Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
1st Reading (Rom 10:9-18): Brothers and sisters: 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. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The Scripture says, No one who believes in him will be put to shame. There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news! But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us? Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. But I ask, did they not hear? Certainly they did; for their voice has gone forth to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.
Responsorial Psalm: 18
R/. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye.

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true, all of them just.

They are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 4:19): Alleluia. Come after me, says the Lord, and I will make you fishers of men. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 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.

"I will make you fishers of men."

Prof. Dr. Mons. Lluís CLAVELL (Roma, Italy)

Today, is St. Andrew's Day, apostle, a festivity celebrated in a solemn way amongst Eastern Orthodox Christians. He was one of the two young men that met Jesus by the river Jordan and had a long conversation with Him. He first found his own brother Simon, and told him “We have found the Messiah” and he brought him to Jesus (cf. Jn 1:41-42). Shortly afterwards, Jesus called these two fishermen brothers, as we read in today's Gospel: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). In the same village there were two other brothers, James and John, friends and chums of the first ones, and fishermen like them. And Jesus also invited them to follow Him. It is nice to see how they leave everything and follow Him “at once”, a word that is repeated in both cases. We cannot tell Jesus: “afterwards”, “later on”, “I'm busy now”...

To each one of us —to all Christians— Jesus is also asking every day to place at His service whatever we are and whatever we have —that means to leave everything, not to have anything of our own— so that, while Jesus is accompanying us in our professional and familial obligations, we may become “fishermen for people”. What does it mean to be “fishermen for people”? A nice answer might be a commentary by St. John Chrysostom. This Father and Doctor of the Church says that Andrew did not know how to explain to his brother Peter who Jesus was and, consequently, he “brought him to the very source of light”, that is, Jesus Christ. “To fish men” means to help all those around us, in our family and in our work, to find Christ who is the only light for our route.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • "Peter and Andrew had not seen Jesus Christ perform any miracle. They had heard nothing of the eternal prize, and yet, upon hearing the voice of the Savior, they forgot everything they believed they possessed” (Saint Gregory the Great)

  • “May the Apostle Andrew teach us to follow Jesus promptly, to speak enthusiastically about Him, and above all to cultivate a relationship of authentic familiarity with Him, aware that only in Him can we find the ultimate meaning of our life and of our death.” (Benedict XVI)

  • "Christ the Lord (…) commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 75)