Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Sebastian GomesNovember 30, 2020
Photo by Anthony Da Cruz on Unsplash

Like most things in 2020, this will be an Advent unlike any other. But each day, you can still take a few minutes to reflect on the coming of our savior at Christmas with short reflections on Scripture, written by the staff of America Media.

Subscribe to The Word in Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player and never miss a reflection. 

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew:

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.


Today is the feast of St. Andrew, one of the twelve apostles and the brother of Peter. Andrew doesn’t figure as prominently as his brother in Jesus’ public ministry; he’s only mentioned by the evangelists a handful of times, but he’s there, accompanying Jesus, learning from Jesus, helping Jesus.

We often think of the 12 apostles as pillars. They were leaders and teachers in the community. They were heroic martyrs. Today, the successors of the apostles are the bishops in our church, and we believe they have been entrusted with teaching, sanctifying and governing in Jesus’ name.

But the call of the first disciples that we read today portrays Andrew and the others as students first. Jesus, the teacher, calls them to a new way of life. They will no longer be fishermen, but will become ‘fishers of men’. Reading further into Jesus’ public ministry, we will see the apostles gradually learn who he really is. But sometimes, the evangelists tell us, they mess up and totally misunderstand Jesus!

The call to discipleship is a call to learn about Jesus first. It’s not an instantaneous promotion. When Andrew and Peter, James and John, and you and I are called by Jesus to be disciples, we become students of the one instructor, and servants of the one Lord.

Advent is an opportunity to begin this journey of discipleship again. We can listen for the call of Jesus, and follow him, like Andrew, without knowing exactly where we’re going or thinking we have all the answers–for ourselves or for others. The most important thing is to accompany Jesus and to let him accompany us.


  • How is Jesus calling me to discipleship today?
  • Are my heart and mind open to hearing Jesus’ instructions and learning from him?

More from America

The latest from america

On “Preach,” host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., and Victor Cancino, S.J., explore how preachers might respond to generational trauma, particularly in Native American communities. “I think doing the work of looking at your own life,” says Victor,“ allows you to be vulnerable, and you give the freedom to
PreachDecember 04, 2023
Monsignor Paolo Braida reading Pope Francis’s message on Dec. 3 (Vatican Media)
Speaking by live television from Santa Marta, the 86-year-old pope, who clearly has not yet fully recovered from a week-long bout of acute bronchitis, issued his heartfelt appeal for “a new ceasefire agreement.”
Gerard O’ConnellDecember 03, 2023
In a speech to the COP28 meeting of world leaders in Dubai read by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis decried the ‘inordinate greed that has made the environment the object of unbridled exploitation.’
Pope FrancisDecember 02, 2023
A Reflection for Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, by Molly Cahill
Molly CahillDecember 01, 2023