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EACH ONE OF US MATTERS TO GOD

Father Francis's picture
Second Week of Ordinary Time

Jn. 1:35-42

In an American television commercial was a man of very ordinary appearance. He said, 'Hello, you don’t know me. My named is Arthur Newman. I am Paul Newman’s brother.' He then explained that despite his lack of fame and good looks, a certain investment company cared just as much about him as it did for his very famous brother.

That commercial reminds me of today's Gospel reading. If there had been television in the first century another very ordinary looking man could have stood before the camera and said, 'Hello, you probably do not know me. My name is Andrew. I am Simon Peter’s brother. I am not a leader nor a writer but Christ cares just as much for me as He does for my more famous brother.'

Andrew is not the least known of the Apostles but our knowledge of him is certainly scant. His name appears in the New Testament only 12 times – and most of those just tell us he was one of the Apostles! But the reading today tells us that he was once a disciple of John the Baptist who, one day, pointed out Jesus and said, “Look, there is the Lamb of God.” From that day forward he was a follower of Jesus and perhaps the first of the Apostles.

Jesus called to Himself a very ordinary man - that should encourage us! I am convinced the Lord does not look upon the conspicuous with anything approximating our admiration. There is a tendency to be enthusiastic about the famous, but Jesus had a prime place for Andrew among His followers. He was just a fisherman.

If we could look into Our Lord’s storehouse of valuables, we would probably be surprised at the insignificance of the things to be seen there. We would find two pennies, all that a poor widow possessed, but she gave them away. And the five barley loaves and two fish which a boy gave to Jesus and He used it to feed a hungry crowd. There would also be an alabaster box that was broken open and its contents poured on the head of Jesus in an act of impetuous devotion.

Three times in the New Testament we see Andrew in action helping to bring someone to Jesus. The first time it was his brother Simon. On the second occasion he brought the young boy who had the loaves and fish. The third time he reached across racial boundaries to befriend a group of Greeks who wanted to meet Jesus. This was Andrew – always doing the simple but significant tasks with an extraordinary spirit.

Lord Jesus, we all have to thank Andrew for showing us the importance of the glorious possibilities that we, just ordinary people, can do. The world owes so much to the plain men and women who have quietly lived their lives working for You. By the grace of God, may each one of us be one of these.

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