Siblings

Today’s Gospel passage for the Feast of St Andrew begins;

‘As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake, for they were fishermen.’

Jesus calls two men, two men who shared the same upbringing and then the same trade. They both respond to something in Jesus, they both make a decision to leave behind the familiar for the unknown.

It’s fairly common in monasteries and communities of religious to separate siblings, to find a place where each can be themselves. The wisdom of this seems to be that the presence of a sibling may make adjustment to monastic life more difficult. Yet Simon Peter and Andrew had to rub along together. I can’t help but wonder just how this worked out. Did Andrew live in the shadow of Simon Peter’s rather impetuous way? Or did Andrew quietly support him?