Thursday, December 2, 2010

For the Love of Saint Andrew: A Christmas Novena, Day 3

Two brothers were hard at work in their fishing boats in the Sea of Galilee. Maybe they were mending their nets. Maybe they were bickering over who had done more work the day before. A man walks along the shoreline. Do they know him? Maybe. After all, he's a carpenter. Maybe he had helped them repair their boats. Or maybe he is a stranger to them. We do not know. The man calls to them.

"And Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who had heard of John and followed him. He finds first his brother Simon and said to him: We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And Jesus looking upon him, said: You are Simon the son of Jona. You shall be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter."

Christ found Andrew, engaged in the often-monotonous work of making a living. He sought him to be his first follower. Christ didn't seek out a political leader. He sought an ordinary man.

Christ continues to journey to us. He's always waiting for us to turn to him, to feel his loving gaze on us. We can encounter Christ through a workmate, a dear friend, or in the face of a stranger. When we start looking, we will find Him everywhere.

And then, as Fr. Julian Carron writes: "Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors."

The Christmas Novena prayer is here.