November 29, 2017

A Reflection for the Feast of St. Andrew: The Calling of the Apostles Peter, Andrew, James, John (and You)

The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew

The following reflection is excerpted from an article for the feast of Saint Andrew by blog contributor Msgr. Bernard W. Bourgeois. The calling of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John by Christ is a seminal event in Our Lord's ministry. But God's call to discipleship is not consigned to apostles, priests and religious alone. It's our sacred duty, the divine summons of human beings, including ourselves.

A Reflection for the Feast of St. Andrew

Msgr. Bernard Bourgeois

The calling of Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John, all fishermen, fascinates today’s Christians. Could it really be true that Jesus could just walk along and expect these four men to abandon their families and careers? From all that is found in the Gospels, it seems so. They were overwhelmed by the aura and power of Christ. They had no choice but to follow Him; they knew it in the depths of their hearts and souls. Following Jesus wholeheartedly was not unique to these four apostles; you and I are called in much the same way. Leaving everything behind and following Christ unencumbered by worldly concerns is the journey of every Christian….

To have a deep relationship with Christ, the disciple must first get rid of sin and sinful tendencies. This lifelong struggle can only happen in prayer. A life based in Jesus demands that the person continually examines her life so that she may shed that which is not of Christ. Sin can easily creep into a person’s life unless that person is watching his actions carefully. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is needed in the life of faith in order to rid the heart and soul of sin and start anew. Sin draws the person away from Christ. Sin must go!

Pride must be dealt with as well. A relationship with Christ can only occur if the person knows he needs Christ. Freely choosing to obey Christ, the faithful disciple knows he cannot do it alone. It takes the community of the Church and the presence of the Holy Spirit found in conscience to help form that important relationship. Pride can steer a person away from Christ.

Lastly, reckless ambition and greed are not of Christ. Power and money become one’s god when ambition and greed hold him prisoner. They can never be satisfied—there is always more power and more money that could be attained. Money is necessary to provide for oneself and one’s family. Balance is the key. While the disciple of Christ must provide for his family, he needs to realize that his relationship with Christ trumps all else. Christ teaches us to treat others with kindness and respect and not to lord it over them. If the person trusts in God, he will not worry about having enough money; he is in God’s hands….

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