HE FOLLOWED CHRIST AND HIS VOICE WENT OUT THROUGH ALL THE EARTH; HIS MESSAGE, TO THE UTMOST BOUNDS OF THE WORLD…
First Reading: Romans 10:9-18
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 18(19):2-5
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:18-22
Faith leads to salvation when we abandon ourselves to God, recognizing Him as the only Saviour. Faith also presupposes listening to the Word (as St. Paul puts out in the first reading), through the preaching of missionaries; while preaching presupposes mission. Preaching and faith have the same object: the mystery of Christ the Lord, who died and was raised from the dead by the power of God the Father. Therefore, when someone believes, he expropriates himself and becomes God’s property.
The saintly apostle we celebrate today, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter (as depicted in today’s gospel reading) can be spoken of in the context of being a great missionary who preached the Word and converted many to the faith. He was a disciple of John the Baptist and a companion of John the evangelist. When the Precursor pointed to Jesus as he passed by, saying: “Here is the Lamb of God” (cf. Jn 1:35-40), he immediately became a disciple of the Lord. Soon after, he communicated to Peter, his brother, the discovery of the Messiah (cf. Jn 1: 41ff). However, in the context of today’s gospel reading, he followed Christ immediately he heard His Word ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ The prompt adherence of Andrew and the other apostles to following Jesus and the mission he entrusted to them allowed them to take the “Good News” of salvation to the ends of the earth. The missionary mandate already springs from Christ the Lord when he said: “Go all over the world, proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (cf. Mc 16:15, Matt. 28:18-20). Here, in response to Christ’s command, Andrew preached/spread God’s Word to every creature. Put differently, just as in today’s Psalm, God’s creations are spoken of as having their voice gone out through all the earth proclaiming the glory of God and the work of His hands; so also, Andrew’s voice went out to the ends of the earth as a missionary of Christ, proclaiming the good news of Christ and his redemptive work.
We are, therefore, invited to listen to the Word and welcome it in our hearts. It is undoubtedly a demanding but saving message. Therefore, we must not be tempted to close our ears to the Word. The Word itself allows us to communicate with God. Thus, in order to enter into communication and communion with God, we must accept his Word in us. May Saint Andrew teach us to listen and accept the Word of God, so that we can be in communion with Him and with each other.
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
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PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?