November 30, 2017
by Thomas Lenz
Creighton University's Department of Pharmacy Practice
click here for photo and information about the writer

Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
Lectionary: 684

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

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Today’s gospel story from Matthew is a short one, but I feel like the message is big. Like so many gospel stories, this one is about trust. In this short narrative, Matthew tells us how Jesus calls first to the two brothers Peter and Andrew to follow him. They put down their nets and did. Then, he calls to two other brothers, James and John to do the same. And, they left their boat and went with Jesus, also.

As I reflected on this reading and its meaning related to trust, the one thing that I kept thinking about was the “action” part of the story. Many gospel stories convey a message of trust and in each of them there is a demonstration of trust by one or more of the people in the story. This strikes me as significant because the stories are not about Jesus simply saying, “Trust me” without a follow-up, or a resolution, or an action. In today’s story, Jesus essentially said to these four men, “Trust me”, and they did. I imagine they felt moved by the Holy Spirit and they acted upon that feeling and followed Jesus. It makes me think about how many times the Holy Spirit has called me to action and I did not have the trust to respond. Perhaps I was unsure or afraid of what lies ahead. I wonder if Peter, Andrew, James and John were afraid? Perhaps they were, but they listened to the Holy Spirit and trusted Jesus. And, we know how the story goes, everything turns out okay in the end. Maybe this is the message, “Trust me and everything will turn out okay in the end.”

Another rather fun twist to this reflection came during mass this past Sunday. The closing song for that particular mass happened to be, “Lord of the Dance.” One of the verses goes like this:

I danced for the scribe
And the pharisee,
But they would not dance
And they wouldn't follow me.
I danced for the fishermen,
For James and John
They came with me
And the Dance went on.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he

The song made me think not only about this message of trust, but about journey after I “drop my nets” and trust. The journey is a dance. And to me, dancing is fun. It makes me feel as if I drop my nets, trust, and follow Jesus, everything is going to be okay. Although the journey will not always be easy, thinking of the journey as a dance gets me excited for the fun that we have along the way.

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