Monday, November 30, 2009


I learned a new word today, and if it's Greek to you, too, that's because it is Greek! "Protoclete" ("the first-called") is a one-word title for today's saint, the Apostle Andrew. In today's Gospel, it is Andrew whom Jesus encounters first along the Sea of Galilee. In John's Gospel, Andrew is one of the disciples of John the Baptist who trails behind Jesus, gets to know him, and then goes off looking for his brother, Simon. Andrew would spend the rest of his life bringing people to Jesus. He didn't seem to be overly concerned about being in first place (unlike many of the disciples). He isn't even in that much-favored trio with his brother and the two sons of Zebedee who were so often called apart with Jesus (up the mountain for the Transfiguration or in the garden of Gethsemane)--maybe that is because instead of being in Jesus' most inner circle, Andrew was on the outer edge, making it easier for strangers to approach and ask him to help them meet Jesus. (It was Andrew who led the little boy with the loaves and fishes up to Jesus; it was Andrew, with Philip, whom "some Greeks" asked for an introduction to Jesus at his final Passover.)
Just last night I was reading Bonhoeffer's "The Cost of Discipleship, where he comments on the call of Levi. It could just as well have been a commentary on today's Gospel call of Andrew and Simon, James and John:
"What does the text inform us about the content of discipleship? Follow me, run along behind me! That is all.... The disciple simply burns his boats and goes ahead. He is called out, and has to forsake his old life in order that he may 'exist' in the strictest sense of the word."

1 comment:

jill a. said...

That Bonhoeffer speaks to you, this gives me some comfort . . . : )