They left their boats and their father and followed him.
Have you noticed how face-to-face communication is becoming less common? We can spend an entire day e-mailing, texting and talking on the phone. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace keep us in touch without ever touching. Some of us can even work from the comfort and isolation of our home and rarely have the chance to interact. Even online shopping can keep us away from merchants, who may even be just around the corner from us.
All of this technology certainly does make life more convenient, but what a contrast it is when compared to the experience of Andrew and Simon Peter!
While they are fishing, the two brothers meet Jesus in person. Actually, this is the second time they have seen him. John the Baptist had introduced Andrew to him earlier, and Andrew ended up spending the whole day with Jesus (John 1:29,39). Andrew then brought Simon Peter to meet him too. That encounter set the stage for today's Gospel reading, when Jesus calls the two men to follow him. And they are so moved by Jesus that they leave everything behind and go with him.
As we celebrate St.Andrew today, let's remember that this kind of direct encounter is at the heart of evangelization. In the words of Pope John II, evangelization "is not a matter of merely pssing on doctrine, but rather of a personal and profound meeting with the Savior." We can't simply hope that those around us will absorb enough information about Christ to become his disciples. We need to introduce them to Jesus.
Bringing someone to Christ may not be as challenging as you think. Of course, we can pray for people and tell them about God's love. But sometimes we make more progress with simple expressions of love that are reflections of the Lord. Listening can be just as effective as prayer. A warm embrace can speak more powerfully than a Scripture passage. An invitation to lunch can have a greater impact than a logical presentation of the truths of the Gospel.
Kindness, generosity, compassion, these are the keys that unlock the treasures of the Gospel!
Lord, send me to someone who needs your message of salvation. Help me to share simply about the wonderful work you have done in my life!