Matthew uses four words to describe the call of Andrew, the brother of the first of the Apostles, in Matthew’s Gospel: Jesus SAW and CALLED him, and Andrew LEFT and FOLLOWED.
First Jesus sees the ones he would call his Apostles. They are going about their daily work, perfectly content, absolutely convinced they understood what their life was supposed to be about and that they were doing it. But unbeknownst to them, the one who was looking at them was the one through whom they were made, and he saw them more clearly than any mirror would ever enable them to see themselves.
For what he saw was not a fisherman named Andrew. Rather, what he saw was a “fisher of men,” a witness to the miracle of the loaves and fishes and the evangelist of people from the Black Sea to the Volga River, the Apostle of the Ukraine and Kyzantium.
It’s like when Jesus first saw you... Some of you were convinced of your profound self-knowledge and your detsiny to be an engineer, or a teacher, or a wood worker or whatever..... But then you found that you did not know yourself as well as the one who formed you in your mother’s womb, who named you before you were born, who knew what he was making you for and who, in his good time, called you to himself to be made into what you were meant to be.
He saw them and he called them.
And then they left their father and their nets and followed him. Two words here, which Saint Paul would later describe by the one word metanoia, a pretty good definition of formation: first leaving everything which leads me away from Christ and his plan for me and then turning toward him.
And that, my brothers, is our full time job, our new life now, following him, wherever he may lead, whether to Tabor or Calvary: He calls. We follow.
Monsignor James P. Moroney