Today is the feast of St. Andrew, the Apostle. Jesus is walking by the Sea of Galilee, sees two brothers, Simon and Andrew, fishermen, casting a net into the sea. He yells at them: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men [people]” (Mt 4: 18-22). At once, they abandoned their nets and followed Jesus.
Were they nuts? They were, probably, successful fishermen! What happened to the boat and the net and the fish? And this guy who was simply walking by and says “Come, foillow me. I will make you a different kind of fisher,” who was he? Why follow him and abandon a business? And we know that Andrew and Simon did not look back. They stayed with Jesus for three years and beyond, were at the Last Supper, suffered through Jesus’ crucifixion by Romans who occupied their country, witnessed his Ascension into heaven, were present at Pentecost when tongues of fire came down from heaven and rested on them, and, filled with the Holy Spirit, changed from cowardly men to bold proclaimers of the Word, of the Resurrection and of the Kingdom of God in our midst, a Kingdom that Yahweh told the Jewish people would never be destroyed.
So what happened? How could this be, you ask? The fact is that once we encounter Jesus personally, nothing in this world is seen in the same way. The Real is not what the world offers, though advocates of the world’s goods believe so and want us to believe so as well. Our egos “chase success, power, a good name, achievements, and all the other stupid things we race after. God will always get…[us] on the run,” as He did Andrew and Simon (Rohr, Richard, OFM, Jesus’ Plan for a New World,” St. Anthony Messenger Press, Cincinnati, OH, 1996, p. 38). As we chase after the things the world offers, not that we do not need those things, “once in a while…[we] glimpse out of the corner of…[our eyes] what really matters. Gotcha” (Ibid.)”