I remember with great fondness my trip to Newfoundland many years ago. A friend of mine in the seminary was from Newfoundland, and another seminarian (and friend of mine) and I spent time there for a vacation. As part of the vacation, we all joined my friend’s brother, who was partner in a group of fishermen, not unlike Peter and Andrew, and James and John. We were cod fishing. It was an experience I will never forget. Suffice to say, we were a problem that day. Fishing lines get caught twice on the bottom of the ocean (me) to tangled fishing lines (the seminarian who went to Newfoundland with me) probably contributed to a poor catch that day. But it was clear the fishermen who allowed us to join them were good at what they did. It strikes me that it is the same with God. When we allow God to take charge, we receive a big catch of fish. And when we try to do things ourselves, we are not successful.
As we come to the end of the liturgical year, we end right where we began. Discipleship. This story has been used by authors like Sherry Weddell as the illustration of intentional discipleship. Andrew and Simon drop their nets and leave their old way of life. While they do not fully know where that will lead, they do know it will always be with Jesus. They have turned over their lives to follow, and to emulate, this person of Jesus.
What do you make of your state of discipleship? Are you closer to Jesus, or are you further away? Do you know Jesus more clearly, or are you more distant in what you know? The good news is that even after his decision to become an intentional disciple, Andrew was not perfect. Andrew did not always understand Jesus, and sometimes he made Jesus angry. As you reflect back upon this past year, where do you need Jesus in your life?