A reading from the holy Gospel according to 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.
REFLECTION: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
In the book, The Imitation of Christ, chapter 13, the disciple yearns for the intimacy of the Lord as one has with a beloved or a friend with a good friend. He questions when will he be entirely forgetful of himself and be complete with the Lord alone. He realizes that without God, there is nothing but toil, sorrow and endless misery.
Jesus chose Andrew and Peter. Their dropping all they were doing and all they possessed indicated their hunger for such a relationship. Jesus simply calls them to Himself. And with this Divine call they were transformed.
But we know that though they were fishers of men and the chosen disciples, their lot in this world was nothing but toil, sorrow and hardships; however, they were in the continuous presence of God. God had given them the talents of self discipline, patience and hard work in their line of fishermen. And now He was going to use them for His Kingdom.
St Andrew (Greek: Andreia meaning manly) was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. He was the younger brother of Peter, also known as Simon bar-Jonah. Andrew is also called the "First called" as he discovered Jesus first when he heard John the Baptist refer to Jesus as the "Lamb of God". With another unnamed disciple he followed Jesus and stayed a day with him. He told his brother Simon, "We have found the Messiah".
It was Andrew who pointed out the young boy at the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. He questioned Jesus about the stones of the wall of the Temple. After the death of Jesus, he preached along the Black Sea and hence became the Patron Saint of Ukraine, Romania and Russia
Andrew also served as interpreter for the Greek visitors during the Passover. He later became the interpreter and the teacher of the Greek world. He died in Patras, Greece, crucified but not as Jesus but in an X-shaped cross. This, therefore, became "St Andrew's Cross". He did not view the cross as an instrument of torture but as a way to be united to Christ.
To become one with Christ and to have intimacy with Him, we have to consider, accept and carry our crosses as a part of the Cross of Christ. May our hearts be united with Christ.
God Bless You