30th November 2020

Monday, First Week of Advent; Feast of St. Andrew, the Apostle

Rom 10:9-18; Ps 19:2-5; Mt 4:18-22


Peter and John are said to have left their nets “at once” and followed Jesus. The word used here in the official Latin translation of the Bible, St Jerome’s Vulgate, is continuo, which is more than just ‘at once’; it has the nuance of continuity. In following Jesus, they did not allow any interruption. It was a continuous following; No second thoughts. James and John are described as leaving their boat and their father “at once”. Jerome uses the word, “statim” (derived from ‘stare’) which means, without yielding to anything (boat) or to anyone (their father) they “stood” firmly in their ‘yes’ to the Lord.

A young boy was studying at table, when, looking out the window, he saw a young woman making a ‘rangoli’ (an intricate design made with many colours as a religious practice, on the floor or clean ground in India) in her courtyard. She had just finished after much sweat and patience when her tiny tot crawled out and headed straight for her rangoli; it took him but a few seconds to leave it in a huge mess! She kissed him, took him in and put him to bed. Then, she started all over again. Finally, with a sigh of relief at its completion, she went to the kitchen. However, after a few minutes, to her horror, she saw her son had somehow come out and was once again enjoying himself with the colours of the rangoli. The mother took all the colours and gave them to him. “I surrender, I give up my design! Do your own,” she said.

Often, in our following Jesus, whether in the priesthood or religious life, as married or single, we make our own designs, our own grandiose plans, our own goals. And at times it seems that they get messed up just when we feel we’ve reached somewhere. Do not be disheartened. Rather, allow God to mess things up, so that he can make his own designs. Focus instead, on ‘leaving nets, boat, and father, and follow him at once.’

Responsorial Psalm: Their sound goes forth through all the earth.

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