Saturday, December 02, 2006

Leaving your nets

I have been following the Pope’s visit to Turkey through the eyes of Robert Moynihan from the “Inside the Vatican” magazine. In Robert’s final reflections about the importance of this visit he moves away from the two men of the moment and points us back to St Peter and St Andrew.

Here’s what he has to say:

“... And so, the story of Benedict’s trip to Turkey remains open-ended. The words and actions of these days will bear their fruits in due season.

So what is the key issue now?

It is to see how the seeds planted here grow, how they are watered and tended as they mature.

Pope Benedict, in his homily at the Mass on November 30 said the effort to bring the separated Christian Churches together, East and West, Orthodox and Catholic, was the chief goal of his visit, imitating the work of the apostles Peter and Andrew, brothers called by Christ to leave their work as fishermen to become "fishers of men."

That call reveals much about the mind of Christ. He did not call them to create structures. He did not call them to build churches. He did not call them to delineate parishes or dioceses or patriarchates. He called them to catch men.

Their work was to propose to men and women a "good news" which would be so attractive that those men and women would become different, filled with a new spirit, and being so transformed, would create the necessary preconditions for a more just, peaceful, and loving world.

And how did Peter and Andrew act?

They acted with courage. They risked everything. They left their ordinary work and took on a work which they did not anticipate, a work which was given to them by Christ. And they carried out that work even unto death - unto deaths on crosses, one crucified head down, the other crucified on a cross shaped like an "x."…”

Tomorrow in the parish we start our Advent homily series on God’s first four questions to man, beginning with “where are you?”

I will pick up on the ‘fisherman’ theme in my homily, asking if we are hiding from the God we once walked with for fear of being sent out to fish for men and women, outside of the comfort zone of our own little bit of paradise.

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