Tag Archives: Gregory of Nazianzen

Called by God’s Word

Yesterday’s gospel for the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle says that Jesus called the two fisherman, Peter and Andrew, from their boat on the Sea of Galilee to follow him as his disciples. We easily picture the scene–the sea, the fishing boat, the smell of the nets, two men in a boat facing another on the shore.

Not so easily pictured is the mystery enveloping the scene. Who calls the two ordinary men from the shore?  Why are they called? They’re not just to accompany him for a few days, or a few years. Who is he?

“The very Son of God, older than the ages, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the incorporeal, the beginning of beginning, the light of light, the fountain of life and immortality, the image of the archetype, the immovable seal, the perfect likeness, the definition and word of the Father: he it is who comes to his own image and takes our nature for the good of our nature, and unites himself to an intelligent soul for the good of my soul, to purify like by like.

He who makes rich is made poor; he takes on the poverty of my flesh, that I may gain the riches of his divinity. He who is full is made empty; he is emptied for a brief space of his glory, that I may share in his fullness. What is this wealth of goodness? What is this mystery that surrounds me? I received the likeness of God, but failed to keep it. He takes on my flesh, to bring salvation to the image, immortality to the flesh. He enters into a second union with us, a union far more wonderful than the first.”  (St. Gregory Nazianzen)