The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

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Feast of the Apostle Andrew

Date: 
Thu, 11/30/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

The word for today on this Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle is “convocation”.
Translated from the Latin words “com” and “vocare”, convocation means “to call together”.
 
Jesus calls his disciples, especially those who will form the inner circle who we now know as apostles….Jesus calls them together.
And over the course of three years he teaches them, he shapes and forms them,
and he reveals to them what he wants them to do.
He reveals to them their work, their vocation.
 
Andrew, before he knew Jesus, was familiar with John the Baptist.
He heard John speak about and refer to Jesus as the “Lamb of God”.
When Andrew encounters Jesus personally, and Jesus summons him to follow,
he obeys;  he leaves behind his livelihood as a fisherman and attaches himself to Jesus.
Andrew has no idea what the future has in store for him.
 
Jesus continues to call his disciples together.
The Church….right here, right now….we are a “convocation”.
As believers we are called together so as to enter into the mystery of our vocation,
the mystery of being disciples of Jesus Christ.
Why do I call it a mystery?  ….because we have no idea what the future has in store for us;
we have no idea where we will be led or what we will be asked to do
other than it will have something to do with living according to Gospel values
and giving witness to the unity and peace brought about by grace and love.
 
The vocation we embrace is a vocation of seeking Jesus Christ,
not just waiting for something to happen but to actually pursue Jesus
….almost like a detective seeking clues, trying to understand the bigger picture.
And there’s no such thing as in instant disciple.
What lies ahead is a very gradual yet very concrete development
of a certain way of living in the world.
Our vocation is not just finding Jesus, it’s also the ongoing choice of staying with him,
through thick and thin, in good times and bad.
Our vocation is being a “convocation”, a gathering of believers called together by God.
 
As members of the Church we are a sacrament (with a small “s”).
As a gathering of people who look in faith to Jesus, accepting him as the author of salvation,
we are a visible and tangible sign to the world.
Never does Jesus say to a disciple “go off and do your own thing”.
He says “be unified with other disciples in faith:  walk together, support, encourage,
chastise and correct when necessary…but carry each other along the way.”
 
There might be a temptation to say “but I’m not qualified”.
Well, we’re in good company…for neither was Andrew, or any apostle for that matter.
No one Jesus called to be an apostle enjoyed the necessary qualifications.
Not one apostle had aspirations to be a rabbi, or a teacher, or a leader of others.
None of them were overly pious.  There was nothing extraordinary about their lives.
They were common folk:  fishermen, tax collectors, political activists, tradesmen.
They all made the choice to give up a previous way of life.
It was Jesus who determined the matter of belonging in his company.
 
On this Feast of St. Andrew, we recall and remember:  it is Jesus who calls us together.
It is Jesus who prepares us for the work he wants us to do.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, help us to let go of worldly matters so as to enter more fully into the mystery of our Christian vocation.  Help us to participate, according to what we learn from you, in the mission of promoting the salvation of souls.  Amen!”