They left their nets and followed him.

Could you imagine an executive leaving his high-paying job to volunteer with a nonprofit group immediately after meeting its young leader? That’s not normally how human relationships work. It takes time for people to get to know each other and to build up mutual trust. So when we see Andrew—whose feast we celebrate today—instantly dropping everything to follow Jesus after just a few words, we might think it was a rash decision. But that’s not the whole picture.

Remember, Andrew had met Jesus earlier. John’s Gospel tells us that John the Baptist had first introduced him to Jesus, the “Lamb of God” (1:36). So when he left his job as a fisherman, Andrew wasn’t making an impulsive decision. Radical, yes. But Andrew’s decision to follow Jesus flowed from the ways he had already encountered the Lord.

Every encounter after that only strengthened Andrew’s zeal to follow Jesus. Think of all the preaching he heard and all the miracles he witnessed. Think about the privilege of seeing the risen Lord or how he received the Holy Spirit. Every new revelation deepened Andrew’s faith. Andrew eventually chose to leave his homeland to preach in Asia Minor and Greece, where he made the ultimate sacrifice as a martyr.

The same is true for us: every encounter with Jesus can deepen our faith a little bit more. We may experience him reviving us if we’ve become discouraged or indifferent. Maybe he will help us let go of unforgiveness or impatience. Maybe we will experience him strengthening us against temptation. Each blessing will help us follow him better.

It all starts with an encounter, just as it did for Andrew. So remember, it’s not “just another prayer time.” Every time you call on him, every time you go to Mass or Adoration or open your Bible, Jesus is there, waiting. The more you open yourself to his love, the more he will change you. So make time to encounter the Lord today. Listen! He’s calling your name!

“Lord Jesus, open my heart to hear your call, today and every day!”

Romans 10:9-18
Psalm 19:8-11
Matthew 4:18-22


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