READINGS for 2007-11-30
Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle
OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE
... and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. – Matthew 4:22
I remember what Fr. Francis, my first spiritual director, advised me when I sought his help at the start of my serious spiritual journey.
“You cannot remain in your comfort zone.
You must go out, and it could mean literally going out of your parents’ house.”
That was in 1997. In the next 10 years, I have experienced many leave-takings and getting out of my comfort zone – emotional, physical, psychological. I stayed for a year in a boarding house near Ateneo when I took up a counseling course, going home only on weekends. I went through a lot of psychological individuation as I trained to be a counselor. In the parish, it meant joining organizations where I could help, but it also meant exposing myself to people I hardly knew and trying to trust them as well. In Didache, it meant losing my privacy and sharing my life with readers who might benefit from it.
Courage to face the unknown and trusting that the Lord is with me make every new step I take bearable. Without this conviction, I would still be my old self: Reserved, doubtful, and pretty much confined to my own little world. Most likely unhappy, too. TessVA.
Following Jesus means getting out of one’s comfort zone. What is your comfort zone?
Lord, grant me the courage to follow You wherever You are calling me to.
As one of the Apostles Andrew was personally formed by Jesus in preparation for His ministry. This is probably a good thing in that the beginnings of any movement are always the most difficult and usually require the greatest sacrifice. Andrew eventually gives his life as martyr for the Gospel, something I am sure he was ready and willing to embrace, having had the best of Teachers in Jesus. Yes, he lived a somewhat privileged life in knowing Jesus personally, but we can also see that this also led to much more being asked of him than might have been if this had not been the case.
9 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. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 For the scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 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? 15 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!” 16 But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?” 17 Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. 18 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.”
P S A L M
Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11
R: The judgment of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
7  The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. (R) 8  The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye. (R) 9  The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. (R) 10  They are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb. (R)
G O S P E L
Andrew made the biggest decision of his life when he chose to follow Jesus. The same is true for each of us. There is nothing more important or formative in our lives than making a similar decision. Jesus calls us all into a relationship with Him that is both a blessing and a lot of work; a privilege and a duty. Let us pray for the grace that we will not disappoint God in all that He has planned for our lives.
18 As he 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. 19 He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 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, 22 and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
Jesus calls us all into a relationship with Him that is both a blessing and a lot of work; a privilege and a duty.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Romans 12-16
ANDREW: STRONG, AND RECOLLECTED
Our Gospel story is a special selection from St Matthew’s Gospel’– one that tells us about Jesus’ call of the first four disciples whom he found along the Sea of Galilee.
Of course, one of these was Andrew.
Pondering on the words of the narration by Matthew (or by his redactor), one thing that strikes me is the immediacy and ease with which Peter, Andrew, James and John responded to Jesus’ call to follow him. They left their nets, their boats, and in the case of James and John, they left their father Zebedee… just like that. There were no questions asked, no clarifications sought from Jesus. Were they hypnotized? Mesmerized perhaps? One thing clear: Jesus said “Come,” and they all followed without any trace or reluctance or hesitation.
Years later, the scenario would be different. Peter would begin making a lot of comments… and he would begin to ask questions. “Lord, if I were you, you should never go to Jerusalem.” “Lord, we have left father, mother, brothers and sisters for you. What is there for us in return.” Even James and John would manifest irritation and impatience at times over the ways of Jesus. When a Samaritan town would not let Jesus and his band of disciples to pass, James and John suggested: “Let fire and brimstone come over this town!” Andrew, only Andrew, seemed to have kept his contemplative spirit. When there was the occasion of feeding the five thousand, it was Andrew who naively presented to Jesus the little boy who had some loaves and fish. He trusted Jesus’ ability to do something from such a small and impossible beginning.
Apostles we are, too. Like Peter, James and John, many a times the wear and tear of mission and apostolate – indeed, the wear and tear of life – had made us lose the dreamlike trust and “visionary” way of following Jesus. We give in to our own doubts and misgivings. Sometimes, we give in to frustrations and resentment we encounter in communities we minister to. May Andrew’s example of silence and contemplation renew us in our submission to Jesus – to his work, and to his peculiar way of working. Fr. Domie, SSP
REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you like Andrew?
Jesus, your ways are truly surprising. Your ways are not our ways. Your thoughts are not our thoughts. Therefore… many times we are disturbed as we struggle to follow you. You draw us out of our comfort zones. You challenge us in our stability. Let your Spirit teach us contemplation and silence. For in such silence, as we struggle with our hearts and minds, we find your wisdom. Amen.
St. Maura, virgin and martyr, pray for us.
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