I Am Your Brother – We are Called to Evangelize
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). (John 1:40-42)
Nine years ago I read this passage from John and it changed the way I interacted with the world, how I conduct business and how I lead my family.
My sons and I were in a small prayer group with a young holy priest who was teaching us the prayer practice of Lectio Divina. God touched my soul with the profound understanding that each of us are to bring Him into the world. He uses us to change the world for the better.
He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
As a part of the Lectio Divina prayer, the priest asked us to quietly and prayerfully picture ourselves in the presence of Christ. Once complete, we read the Gospel again and repeated the meditation. After our meditation was complete, we each shared what we saw or felt. I shared the following:
“The streets of Jerusalem were crowded and active. In the distance, the sound of children laughing and chasing each other can be heard as their small feet lifted dust from the street. A burrow sounds an alarm jolting Andrew from his deep thought as he listened to Jesus. Jumping to his feet, Andrew proclaim, “Lord, I must go tell my brother, Simon.” Jesus responds emphatically, “Go!”
Turning from the small group, Andrew starts his short journey to his brother’s house. What starts out as a brisk walk turns into a full run. The young man, whose brown beard is just starting to form on his square chin, charges through the crowded streets causing people to turn and stare. Dust bursts forth from his sandaled feet as they pound the dry path. Ignoring the aroma of fresh cooked bread, he charges on.
Seeing his older brother’s house in the distance, he sprints to the entrance and bursts through the door, causing the heavy wood to slam against the clay wall. Simon, startled and standing at a long wooden table, exclaims, “Little brother, what is wrong!”
Andrew responds, “We have found the Messiah!”
Without hesitation, Simon drops the small tool that was in his hand and follows his younger brother out the door. Pushing their way through the crowded streets, leaving a trail of dust and disturbed people behind them, they find Jesus in the same place Andrew had left Him.
Winded from his run, Andrew introduces his brother, “Lord, this is my brother Simon.”
Smiling, Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas.”
This meditation and its clarity have never faded. The young priest in our group, after sharing with him what I saw and knowing what I knew in that moment stated, “God is calling you to evangelize.” I knew he was right.
And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
In reality, God calls each of us to evangelize the world in our own way, using the gifts that come from Him. If our destiny is heaven, as is the will of God, we must joyfully use these gifts to bring others to him along the way.
There will be times others turn their back or we will make mistakes. In the words of St. Teresa of Calcutta-
“God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.”
God does not require perfection of us, He only asks of us to love and effort. He can perfect, even our weakest actions. Each day, remember Jesus’ call to,
God is good!
JMJ, Pray for us!