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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of the apostle Andrew

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 4, 18-22

As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast into the lake with their net, for they were fishermen.

And he said to them, 'Come after me and I will make you fishers of people.'

And at once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.

And at once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the Church commemorates Andrew, the first one to be called. This recall reminds us that Christians are first and foremost disciples, that is men and women who listen to the Lord and follow him. The liturgical year we just started is nothing but a year of discipleship of Jesus, a year of listening to the Gospel in order to grow in the love of God and of our brothers and sisters. For this reason, the story of the first called - according to the narrative of John - continues to be exemplary. Andrew, son of Jonah and brother of Simon Peter, was a native of Bethsaida, plying his trade as a fisherman, with his brother. He was called by Jesus while he was mending his nets, and he immediately left them and followed the Master. According to tradition, Andrew announced the Gospel in Syria, Asia Minor and Greece, and died in Patras, crucified like his Master. The Orthodox Church venerates him as the first bishop of the Church of Constantinople. The Gospel of Mark joins him to the first four called. All, in fact, after the encounter with Jesus began to follow him. The Church, every Christian community, every religious experience, always begins with a meeting. But it is not a matter of hasty greetings, or drawing-room entertainment. How many times do we fill our time with chatting, or waste many words! Here is a simple and clear invitation of Jesus: “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Andrew and Simon, called Peter, listened to this call, left their nets and followed him. Why follow? It is difficult to explain the future of God to those who, like us, are illiterate of His word and His love. And the Master explained the future of God in the only way these fishermen could understand, perhaps in the only way that could attract them, “You will still be fishing, but for people.” For this fishing we need to leave the usual fishing boat and start walking not on water but on the earth of men and women that is perhaps even more mobile and uncertain than the waters of the lake. It is no longer the sea of water; it is the sea of men and women, it is the crowd of people who like a sea will absorb them and overwhelm them: Andrew, along with three others, accepted the invitation of Jesus. It is not we who choose, it is another who looks at us, loves us and calls us. Truly, Jesus is the first “fisher of men” and he called those poor fishermen. It is not for us to judge whether or not we are worthy, or whether someone else is; these judgments are related to a worldly logic. In the Gospel perspective it is for us to listen to the invitation, accept it and respond to it, as the four fishermen did. Following Jesus is not an option for heroes or elected spirits. The first four were simple fishermen: they heard Jesus, they trusted and followed him. This is the secret of faith and of the Church.

Memory of the Apostles

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 18 June
Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ
Monday, 19 June
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 20 June
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 21 June
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 22 June
Memory of the Church
Friday, 23 June
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 24 June
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 25 June
Liturgy of the Sunday