There are two words that the Lord used frequently in the Gospels. The first word is "Come." "Come, follow me." "Come and see." "Come, take up your cross." "Come, all you who labor and find life burdensome…." In today’s gospel Jesus says to Simon and Andrew, "Come after me and I will make you fishers of men." They came.
The second word that Jesus used frequently is, "Go." "Go in peace." "Go and show yourselves to the priest." "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard." "Go tell my brethren they are to go to Galilee…" "Go into the whole world and preach the gospel." Our first reading today reminds us how beautiful are the feet of those who go forth to announce good news.
There is no sense in coming to Christ, if we just sit there and go nowhere with the gifts he gives. And there is no sense in going someplace, if at first we don’t come to Christ to be taught and nourished. So each Sunday we come to Holy Mass. We come to listen, to give thanks, to be fed, and to support one another. And then we go. We go out into the world to be fishers of people, to serve Christ in our neighbor. We come in need. We go forth empowered. The weekly rhythm of our coming to Mass and going forth from Mass gives meaning to the statement that that the Mass is the "source and the summit" of our spiritual lives, lives that are centered on Christ.
We might compare our participation in Sunday Mass to those precious moments that the apostles spent with the Lord when the returned from their missions. It is at Mass where we are healed of our failures, where we celebrate our successes, and where we gain insight to face the challenges ahead. Our constant coming to Christ and being sent forth continues the work of St. Andrew whom we remember today.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P., is a member of the Passionist Community of Sierra Madre, CA. Visit: http://www.alanphillipcp.com/.