Editors' note: The Advent season is a time of hopeful accompanying. We accompany the Holy Family on their journey. We accompany Christ as he enters into this world. We accompany each other in an effort to make Christ's continued presence known today. This Advent, America will offer daily Advent reflections, based on each day's Scripture readings, from Elizabeth Kirkland Cahill. We hope that the fruits of these reflections will accompany you throughout the each day, and fill you with joyful anticipation throughout the Advent season.
Immediately they left their nets and followed him. ~ Mt 4:18
As Advent begins on this Feast of St. Andrew, each of us can think of a hundred reasons not to follow Christ, immediately or otherwise. The weeks leading up to Christmas promise to dump their usual frenzy into our lives. End-of-the-year work commitments are ramping up. Family needs seem to grow exponentially. Add to that cold weather, seasonal viruses, travel schedules, social events—and suddenly the call to follow Christ in this season of preparation seems just one demand too many. Maybe after Christmas, we promise, when we don’t have so much on our minds.
In his time and place, working as a fisherman in his Galilean village, Andrew was no less beset by the exigencies of daily life. But when Christ walked by the shore and called him, Andrew—known in the Greek tradition as the “Protoclete,” or first-called—responded instantaneously: he and his brother Simon Peter dropped their nets and “immediately followed him.” Without hesitation, they left behind the known world and generously embraced the unfamiliar. Like Andrew and Peter, we cast our nets every day into the wide, restless seas of work and family. Sometimes, on the productive, happy days, our nets come up full; other times we pull them in only to find them torn asunder by stress and anxiety. Whatever our circumstances, may we begin this Advent season by emulating Andrew’s generosity of heart and by making time to follow Christ—post-haste, forthwith, today—through prayer, Scripture reading and reflection.
O God, who calls to us across life’s tumultuous waters, grant us a generous spirit to follow you with our whole hearts. Amen.
For today’s readings, click here.
You can access the complete collection of the Advent 2015 Reflection Series here.
If you would like to receive these reflections via a daily e-mail, contact Elizabeth Kirkland Cahill at [email protected]