Wednesday, November 30, 2011

St. Andrew the Apostle

Andrew was one of the first apostles called by Jesus.  In John's Gospel, Andrew is first presented as an apostle of John the Baptist.  Significant in that Andrew recognizes Jesus as the Messiah.  Moreso we see in the sixth chapter of John's Gospel, it is Andrew who approaches Philip and requests to meet Jesus.  Jesus' response is to, "Come and See."  Andrew gladly tells his brother Peter about Jesus.  This is what disciples do; they are excited about the Word of God, and share it with as many as possible.  Perhaps this is the reason that he is chosen by Jesus.

St. John Chrysostom, in a homily on this occasion, talks about the zeal of St. Andrew.  To be sure a disciple is called to be zealous.  Andrew is shown as one who is constantly seeking, looking for truth and understanding the mysteries of God.  Once he discovers 'truth' Andrew does not hesitate to proclaim the good news.  In the Collect for today's liturgy, we pray that Andrew guide the Church in faith, and always be our friend.

St. Andrew makes a wonderful Advent saint in his vigilance and faithful posture.  Obviously he is always in the process of seeking that which is of God.  But Andrew does not wander to find meaning in crystals, or trees and bushes, but understands that the God of all creation will be the source of the 'Messiah.'  Andrew understands that to be a disciple is an activity of seeing the works of Christ, and sharing those works faithfully.

In the Vatican II document on the Laity in the Church, men and women are invited to continue to grow in holiness, and participate actively in the life of the Church.  There is no doubt that it is difficult to maintain a high level of excitement, especially as we meet the routine of life.  Even if in small ways we can seek and find holiness, all the better for the Church.  How do I recognize God's presence?  How can I respond in love and charity? 

No doubt that there are occasions throughout our lives when we can see Jesus at work.  Like Andrew we have to be courageous and Come and See.

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