Readings for January 17, 2021
1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19
Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10
1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20
All Christians, by command of the Great Commission, are called to evangelization. Sometimes, however, that can be an intimidating calling. Other times, thanks to the self-proclaimed and often flawed televangelists of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as today’s mega churches who sell the gospel of worldly success, it can seem a little contrived.
John’s account of the call of Andrew and Peter, however, is neither intimidating nor contrived. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist and heard John proclaim that Jesus is the One Who Is to come. Excitedly, Andrew tells his brother, Simon (Peter) that they have found the messiah, and Andrew brings him to meet Jesus. Jesus greets Simon as Peter (Cephas) and the rest, of course, is salvation history.
Importantly, this evangelization was made possible because the Jews were seeking the messiah at this time in history. Nevertheless, in bringing Peter to Jesus, Andrew fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah. “Lo this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord, we have patiently waited for him, we shall rejoice and be joyful in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)
It seems we too can bring others to Jesus still today. Many are seeking some peace, some solace, some sort of way to be “saved” in this messed up world. And evangelization is as simple as showing others that all this can be found in Christ. More than words, we must show our faith in how we act and how we speak; exuding the solace, peace, and salvation that we already know we have received through Christ’s sacrifice.
St. Francis of Assisi is attributed with saying “preach the Gospel at all times, and when all else fails, use words.” If people do not see the joy of salvation within us, we need to change our ways. I, for one, can be a touch cantankerous sometimes. Sometimes. But to bring others to Christ, it is important that my joy shines through even my most cantankerous moments, rejoicing in his salvation.
My Lord Jesus, you call us as you called your disciples. May I participate in your plan for salvation by living out my faith and leading others to your saving grace. Amen