Today we celebrate the feast of St. Andrew the brother of Simon Peter, they were both fishermen from Bethsaida. Imagine being a fisherman – your livelihood, your family’s future, everything depends on the catch of the day, and without that, you have no income, no way of feeding and supporting your family.
These fishermen were disciples of John the Baptist until, he pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God. With Christ’s call, Andrew together with his brother Simon Peter gave up everything to follow the call of this man, this Messiah, Jesus Christ and it would change the course of their entire lives.They both had three years of formation under Jesus Himself. After Pentecost, Andrew will go through Syria and Greece and finally lay down his life for Christ as a martyr crucified on an X cross. It was said that he was on this X cross preaching for two days before he died.
Christ chose fishermen so that mankind will know that Christianity is the work of God and that one can say that Christianity has won the world through deceit or force or the promise of riches or by science or elegance of speech or anything like that. With weak men in society and the grace of God, Christianity spread throughout the world. Christ made the fisherman Andrew, to be a fisher of men; to preach the word, to inculcate in the hearts of believers the knowledge of God, the conviction of faith for souls, and inspiration and encouragement to do good works.
We can therefore say in general that, our Lord calls every one of us in different places; in our neighborhood, among family and friends. Each one of us can encourage others in their faith, in virtues and in good works. We can share good literature and religious articles that can help to spread Christianity. If we do our part we will bring many souls to Faith. St John chrystotom once said ‘ if all Christians are true believers, the world within a short time will have no more unbelievers’.
Jesus knows what we are capable of – our specific gifts and talents are to be shared with everyone, Your gifts are valuable and precious. Don’t hold them to yourself, but share them with those who are hurting, in need, lonely, frightened. There is so much opportunity in this world to make a difference, to share the love of God with others. You won’t have to look very hard to find someone who needs love. Be a fisher of all people, throw out your nets and marvel at the gifts you will receive in return!
Fr Joseph Osho